Well, folks, there has been another school shooting. This time, the shooter, Nathaniel Tennosuke Berhow, was a sixteen-year-old student at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California. His mother dropped him off at school, he went into the school, pulled a gun from his backpack, fired all but one of the rounds in the gun, then turned it on himself and shot himself in the head.
Now, according to the New York Times, investigators are trying to understand why he took the gun out of his backpack and shot his fellow students. I think the more basic question becomes, “Why did this sixteen-year-old boy have access to a gun to begin with?” Police say there is no indication that his mother knew he had the gun in his backpack, but police also say they found six other guns, some not even registered, in his home. It seems to me that the mother (his father is dead) should be under investigation for a) having what qualifies as an illegal arsenal in her home, b) leaving guns unsecured and able to be accessed by children, and c) child neglect/endangerment.
Of the five students he shot, two died from their wounds, three others are hospitalized. The shooter did not immediately die but was rushed to the hospital where he died a day later, Friday afternoon. The two students who were killed are Gracie Anne Muehlberger, a 15-year-old girl, and Dominic Blackwell, a 14-year-old boy. One of the three injured students has been released from the hospital, the other two are expected to be released sometime this weekend. All three are expected to survive … thankfully.
Police say they have no motive … the shooter did not leave behind any manifesto or letter, though it was obviously a planned attack. The FBI are combing social media, looking for some clue as to what may have caused the boy to commit this horrendous crime.
Those are the facts, as they are known today. The story made the news, but it seemingly paled in comparison to the impeachment news, Donald Trump’s hate-filled tweets, Roger Stone’s trial, and Rudy Giuliani’s stupidity. Perhaps it was because this time, only 2 students died? Perhaps the people in this nation are becoming inured to gun violence? Perhaps there is a new feeling of hopelessness, in light of the fact that the National Rifle Association (NRA) appear to control enough of our legislators to keep any gun regulations from passing into law.
So, you are probably asking yourselves why I am even writing about this one, given that I have said it all before, time and time again, and that there is not much that can be added at this point. Well, I’ve asked myself that, as well. Why bother? I’ve said it all before, I’m preaching to the choir because my readers are 99% in agreement with me on this, my words won’t reach the ears of those who need to hear them, and even if they did, they wouldn’t heed my words.
But, it seems to me that if we allow ourselves to fall into that trap, if we throw our hands up in the air and say, “Why bother?”, then we have lost the battle … the good guys will have given up and turned the nation, the lives of our children and grandchildren, over to the thugs. At the very least … the very least … Gracie Anne Muehlberger and Dominic Blackwell deserve to be recognized, to be remembered, to be honoured. But, I believe we owe them more than that.
I believe we owe Gracie Anne and Dominic and the other 842 children under age 18 killed by guns so far in 2019, and the other 2,447 children injured by guns thus far this year, to make our voices heard, to keep on shouting loud and clear, to work to bring about an end to the corruption of our politicians and the NRA. WE OWE IT TO THE CHILDREN!!!
Only in the United States is there free and unfettered access to guns by every man, woman and child, bar almost none. Only in the United States do we send our children to school, never knowing whether they will return at the end of the day. The people who could stop the madness, won’t. Their children haven’t been affected … yet.
Please, friends, vote out the bastards in Congress who take donations from the NRA. Let’s start using some good sense. Find out who in your state is taking NRA money  and get them out! Surely the lives of our children matter more than our right to own a killing machine?
 Gun Violence Archive 2019
 Open Secrets database … searchable by state, party, election cycle, amount
Note to readers: Saturday Surprise is on hiatus for this week … I felt this was more important. Apologies, and Saturday Surprise will, hopefully, return next week.