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Have Things Changed Since This School Shooting in 1988 by Laurie Dann?

By       Message Martha Rosenberg     Permalink
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(Article changed on February 11, 2013 at 10:50)

(Article changed on February 10, 2013 at 15:28)

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"Laws Failing To Keep Guns Out Of Hands Of Disturbed," said the Chicago Tribune.


"Suspect Had History Of Bizarre Acts."

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The stories weren't about Jared Loughner, James Holmes and Adam Lanza but a 30-year-old former babysitter named Laurie Dann in Winnetka, IL, a northern Chicago suburb.

On May 20, 1988, Dann shot six students at Hubbard Woods Elementary School, one of whom died, and another man before killing herself and ushering in the era of the school shooting.

Like Loughner, Holmes, Seung-Hui Cho (Virginia Tech) and Stephen Phillip Kazmierczak (Northern Illinois University) before her, Dann had a pronounced history of mental illness, exhibiting warning signs of gun violence. She bought all her weapons legally and in compliance with prevailing gun laws.

Like Loughner, Holmes, Cho, Kazmierczak, One Goh (Oikos University), Wade Michael Page (Sikh temple), Jacob Roberts (Oregon mall) and at least 10 other crazed gunmen in recent years, Dann exhibited many signs of emotional disturbance.

She had a "thing" for raw meat, putting it under her mattress at college while she slept and stealing it from the refrigerators of families for whom she babysat. She rode elevators for hours wearing rubber gloves to avoid touching the metal.

Two days before the shootings, Dann mailed arsenic laced snacks to former acquaintances and her psychiatrist and hand delivered others, leaking and appearing foul, to fraternities at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL.

And the day of the shootings she started fires at a Winnetka home and at a different school from the one she shot up.

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Why can't we stop violent criminals like Loughner, Holmes, Cho, Kazmierczak, Goh, Page, Roberts and Dann from striding into gun shops and buying guns for lethal rampages? Because a national registry of gun owners would violate our Second Amendment rights says the NRA. It would lead to "taxes and confiscation" of firearms. Sure, no one likes to see children shot and killed but the alternative--gun accountability laws--threatens our Second Amendment rights!

Paranoids dictating national firearm policy by Martha Rosenberg

As long as the gun industry is writing our laws, not US citizens and the lawmakers who are supposed to represent them, deranged people like Loughner, Holmes and Dann will continue to be legal gun owners. This week, Alice Boland, charged in 2005 with threatening to assassinate President George W. Bush, legally bought a gun and threatened administrators at Ashley Hall, a girls school in South Carolina. Hey, she has Second Amendment rights! END


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Martha Rosenberg is an award-winning investigative public health reporter who covers the food, drug and gun industries. Her first book, Born With A Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp The Public Health, is distributed by Random (more...)

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