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When the War Comes Home

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I personally detest guns but I don't believe our government has the right to confiscate them either.  My Colonel father owned guns, which he kept under lock and key.  I never saw one unless he took them out to clean them except once when he thought we had a burglar downstairs. My father called out in a very loud voice, "I'm going to get my gun."  I said, "Are you going to shoot someone?"  His reply, "If someone's in my house I will."  Now, I realize he was speaking loudly to give the would-be burglar, if indeed there was one, a chance to get the heck out of our house.  Because dealing with weapons was part of my father's profession there was total respect for them and what they're used for, to kill people. 

 We are a culture awash in violence that uses war to negotiate and in the words of Jeremiah Wright, "The chickens have come home to roost."

Timeline of mass shootings.


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 After yet another one of these shootings I always wonder what would drive a child to pick up a weapon and commit mass murder?  The Secret Service did a study on assassins, the Exceptional Case Study Project, then extended the study to include 32 school shooters and released their findings in 2002.  Contrary to popular belief there is no set profile for these shooters, however, they do follow certain action steps, which occur over days, weeks, months of planning, which the Secret Service calls the pathway to attack.  These actions include:

 They pick a weapon.

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They practice with the weapon.

2/3's of the assassins tell someone about their plans for the attack.  They also usually write about it.

They feel desperate and believe violence will solve their problems.

They believe they needed a gun to be heard because nobody cared.

They couldn't find a reason not to do it.

Afterwards they feel remorse, as it didn't work out the way they thought it would.

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 Many times school shooters are victims of bullying.  In the case of the shooter Luke Woodham, (16), he killed 2 students, injured 7 others at his high school on Oct 1, 1997 at Pearl High School in Mississippi but first he stabbed and bludgeoned his mother to death.

He was mad at the way people treated him.  Classmates pushed him around; called him gay or stupid, and threw rocks at him.  Minutes prior to the shooting Woodham gave this message to a friend.

 "I am not insane, I am angry. I killed because people like me are mistreated every day. I did this to show society, push us and we will push back. ... All throughout my life, I was ridiculed, always beaten, always hated. Can you, society, truly blame me for what I do? Yes, you will. ... It was not a cry for attention; it was not a cry for help. It was a scream in sheer agony saying that if you can't pry your eyes open, if I can't do it through pacifism, if I can't show you through the displaying of intelligence, then I will do it with a bullet."

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Jill Dalton is a recovering army brat/writer/performer/activist who has appeared in film and television as well as performing her solo plays in New York and around the country. Most recently she can be seen in and consulted for William Hurt on the (more...)

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