A park is a public area in a town that is used for recreation. Recreation is an activity done for enjoyment when one is not working. On January 29, 2013, Hadiya Pendleton went to a Chicago park with her friends. They were using the public area as a place of recreation. Hadiya was shot to death in the park. Hadiya Pendleton was 15 and was a hard working student. Hadiya Pendleton performed at the 2013 presidential inaugural events. Hadiya is dead because in Chicago gun violence seems to have become a way of life that could be said to border on recreation for some members of the Chicago community.
On Saturday, September 1, 2012 in the Kensington section of Philadelphia, the fun at a block birthday party for a neighborhood child was shattered by the random shooting of a 21 year old man. The man died of a gunshot wound to the head. The innocence of the children at the party was lost as they watched the violence unfold.
The gun is a tool for killing. The killer is the shooter.
This is a truth but another truth is if a gun is not available the killer is not able to shoot the gun and kill.
Without a gun in the hands of the shooter, Edward Christian, Ladarious Phillips, and Demario Pitts would be alive today. They were killed on June 10, 2012, in Auburn, Alabama by a man who had a gun. The gun did not kill. The shooter did, but without the gun the shooter could not have killed Edward, Ladarious, and Demario. The gun and the shooter worked in unison. It was a deadly partnership.
A dispute is defined as a debate, controversy, or difference of opinion. Disputes should be settled through dialogue. Settling a dispute through dialoguing can lead to finding a middle ground.
Too many disputes are settled through targeted gun violence.
On March 3, 2012, someone had a dispute with Calvin Johnson. Calvin was shot while at work at the Golden Pizzeria in Newark, N.J. The difference of opinion was not debated, the difference of opinion was not worked out. Calvin had no chance to try to find a middle ground. Calvin is dead and his six children are left without a father.
To profile is to draw an outline.
To profile a shooter is to define a personality that could aim a gun at a human target. Police and mental health professionals have listed common traits that might be found in shooters-but not all shooters are depressed, not all shooters have a loveless life, and not all shooters are lonely, but all shooters have a gun.
To protect is to keep safe from harm or injury.
A mother had a gun to protect her and her son from harm. She hid the gun under her pillow. Her four year old son found the gun. On April 7, 2012, her four year old son shot himself in the chest. Her four year old son was critically wounded with the gun that was meant to protect him from harm or injury.
On April 2, 2012, a former student opened fire on the Oikos University campus in California. Seven people were killed. These seven victims became part of the mounting number of students and faculty who have been killed across the nation by gun violence. These seven victims started the day with their lives ahead of them and are now reduced to hash marks. Hash marks that reflect the grim statistics of gun violence on American college campuses.
To stray is to deviate from the direct course. When a bullet strays from its course it can hit anyone who is in its unintended path.
On May 28, 2011 in Buffalo, NY, a bullet was shot by Bangaly Chelley. The bullet missed its intended target and became a stray bullet. As Ansumane Kanneh was fixing his seven year old granddaughter’s bike, this stray bullet hit him. This stray bullet killed Ansumane. Ansumane Kanneh was 82 years old.
Power is defined as the possession of control over others.
A gun gives its owner the feeling of power. A gun gives the gun holder the power to kill. George Zimmerman had a gun. George Zimmerman had power. On February 26, 2012, George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin. Treyvon died. He was 17 years old. The gun gave George Zimmerman the power to kill. No one has the power to bring Trayvon back to his mother and father. A gun only takes away.