Thursday, June 30, 2016

Browser the cat gets fired

“He helps children read. Little children will come into the library, and they’ll read to Browser.” — Ron White, Mayor of White Settlement, TX 

LOCAL politics can be brutal. This story is from NBC News. FYI: I'm on Browser's side.

Beloved Cat Fired from His Job at a Local Public Library

By Ricki Harris
June 28, 2016

The town politics in a suburb of Fort Worth, Texas are getting catty.

Browser, the beloved cat that has been a fixture of the local library for six years, recently lost his job. On June 14, the city council voted to remove the cat from the public library and now he has 30 days to find a new home.




The White Settlement Public Library adopted their furry friend in October 2010 from a local animal shelter, according to their website. Mayor of White Settlement, Ron White, said that the cat was originally adopted to help with a rodent problem, a common tactic used in libraries. Despite this, Browser has become more than just a protector of books, “Browser has become our library’s mascot,” the site reads. The cat is even the face of their annual calendar, which is sold as a fundraiser.

But recently, the town council decided that animals are no longer allowed in city facilities. White told ABC News that this decision came seemingly out of nowhere.

He opposes the cat’s eviction and maintains that the cat is harmless and, beyond that, a positive asset for the library.

“He helps children read,” White said. “Little children will come into the library and they’ll read to Browser.” White added that since the council’s decision, he has been flooded by emails from people throughout the country upset with Browser’s presumptive removal.




Lisa Rogak, who co-authored the book ‘The True Tails of Baker and Taylor: The Library Cats Who Left their Pawprints on a Small Town…and the World’, also supports Browser’s role in the local library.

“A cat turns a library into a more welcoming and warm place,” she told ABC News. “Anything that encourages people to visit a library, whether the Internet, an out-of-print book —- or a cat —- is to be encouraged.”

Removing Browser would also mean the rodent problem would remain unchecked. The alternative, according to White, is hiring an exterminator – a solution that could leave some books, handled every day by children, covered in chemicals.

White said he plans on adding the issue to the agenda for the city council to reconsider at the next meeting, which will be held on July 12, just a couple of days before Browser’s 30 days will expire. He is hoping to reverse the decision.



The small town has reportedly managed to obtain over 800 signatures on a petition to keep Browser in the library. White said he expects that number to exceed 1,000 by the time the next meeting comes around.

“I think it was a suspicious motion to begin with, and I don’t have a good answer for it but I don’t support it,” he said. “I think Browser should stay right where he is.”

White Settlement Public Library and Councilmen Elzie Clements did not respond to requests for comment.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Mourning Pat Summitt

"Here's how I'm going to beat you. I'm going to outwork you. That's it. That's all there is to it." — Pat Summitt 

LEGENDARY University of Tennessee women's basketball coach, Pat Summitt, has passed away after battling early-onset Alzheimer's disease since 2011. 

I'm a long-time fan of hers. Paul and I saw her coach the last game of her career at the NCAA Division I regional finals held in Des Moines March 26, 2012. (Click here to read that post.)

I blogged about her again in December of 2012: Honor Pat Summit.




My very favorite Pat Summitt quote came after she had been offered the job of coaching the men's basketball team at the University of Tennessee. She said, “Why is that considered a step up?" 

Below is the obituary that ran in The New York Times.


Pat Summitt, Tennessee Basketball Coach Who Emboldened Women’s Sports, Dies at 64

By Jere Longman
June 28, 2016

Pat Summitt, who was at the forefront of a broad ascendance of women’s sports, winning eight national basketball championships at the University of Tennessee and more games than any other Division I college coach, male or female, died on Tuesday. She was 64.

Her death was confirmed on the website of the Pat Summitt Foundation.

Ms. Summitt stepped down after 38 seasons and 1,098 victories at Tennessee in April 2012, at 59, less than a year after she learned she had early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.




Over nearly four decades, Ms. Summitt helped transform women’s college basketball from a sport ignored by the National Collegiate Athletic Association into one that drew national television audiences and paid its most successful coaches more than $1 million a year.

“In modern history, there are two figures that belong on the Mount Rushmore of women’s sports — Billie Jean King and Pat Summitt,” Mary Jo Kane, a sports sociologist at the University of Minnesota, said in 2011. “No one else is close to third.”




Ms. Summitt, who was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999 and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000, was a trailblazer, ambassador and missionary. She was a co-captain of the 1976 women’s Olympic team, which won a silver medal, then guided the United States to gold as head coach at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles. All of her players who completed their eligibility at Tennessee also graduated, school officials said.

Through much of her tenure at Tennessee, Ms. Summitt was willing to play any opponent, on any court, at any time. She opened her locker room to television cameras and gave viewers an unfiltered look at her demanding style, her steely glare and her unapologetically withering remarks to her players and to referees. Her hands pounded the court with such intensity sometimes that she flattened the rings on her fingers and had to have them rerounded in the off-season.

Her childhood on a Tennessee farm lent Ms. Summitt a rural hardiness. When she gave birth to her only child, Tyler, in 1990, she went into labor while on a recruiting trip in Pennsylvania and urged the pilots to fly her home so that her son would be born in Tennessee.

A month before she won her final championship, in 2008, Ms. Summitt dislocated her shoulder while shoving a raccoon off the deck of her home in Knoxville, then tried for two hours to reset her shoulder before calling a doctor. Her best teams displayed a similar toughness and determination, playing with ravenous attention to defense and rebounding.

“There may be coaches that win more than Pat, but there will never be another Pat Summitt,” Baylor Coach Kim Mulkey said.


She was born Patricia Sue Head on June 14, 1952, in Clarksville, Tenn. The fourth of five children, she slept in a baby bed until she was 6. Her farmer father, Richard Head, was a disciplinarian who, she recalled, admonished his children that “cows don’t take a day off.”

During the day, she joined her three older brothers in baling hay and chopping tobacco. At night, she played basketball against her brothers and neighbors.

“I was the only girl,” Ms. Summitt once said. “They beat me up, but it made me tougher.”

Title IX, the federal law that prohibited discrimination in schools based on gender, was passed in 1972, but expanded opportunities for female athletes came haltingly. The N.C.A.A. did not begin sponsoring women’s basketball until 1982, 43 years after it held its first postseason tournament for men.

Still, the women’s game thrived in rural enclaves in states like Tennessee and Texas, where girls who worked on farms could not be told with any seriousness that they lacked the endurance to play sports.

Ms. Summitt attended the University of Tennessee at Martin and, upon graduating in 1974, became head coach at the University of Tennessee’s flagship campus in Knoxville. At 22, she was barely older than her players.

In football country, she made $250 a month to coach basketball and attend graduate school. She held a doughnut sale to help pay for the team uniforms, which she washed herself. Her team once slept on mats at an opponent’s gym because there was no money for a hotel.

She drove the team van to games, so intent on winning that “we never even stopped at McDonald’s,” said Holly Warlick, who played for Ms. Summitt at Tennessee, served as a longtime assistant and succeeded her as head coach.

Ms. Summitt’s first game at Tennessee ended in a 1-point defeat. When she phoned her parents to give them the news, she recalled, her father offered a bit of sage advice: “Tricia, don’t take donkeys to the Kentucky Derby” — meaning that the best coaches recruited the top players. For most of 38 seasons, she did.


Her two biggest stars, Chamique Holdsclaw of Queens and Candace Parker of suburban Chicago, led the Lady Vols to five of Ms. Summitt’s eight national titles and are considered two of the best women’s collegiate players of all time. Ms. Summitt’s best team, guided by Holdsclaw and reliant on relentless offense and aggressive defense, finished 39-0 to win the national title in 1998. To that point, no women’s team had won as many games in a season.

As the number of championships climbed, so did Ms. Summitt’s salary, eventually reaching $1.25 million a year. She was once approached by Tennessee officials about coaching the men’s team. She dismissed the overture, asking, “Why is that considered a step up?"




Ms. Summitt’s marriage of 27 years to R. B. Summitt, a banker, ended in divorce in 2008.

Her survivors include her son, Tyler, who was the women’s coach at Louisiana Tech before resigning this year over what was described as “an inappropriate relationship,” widely reported to be with one of his players; her mother, Hazel Albright Head; her sister, Linda Atteberry; and her brothers, Kenneth, Tommy and Charles Head.

Ms. Summitt’s eighth and final national title came in 2008, three short of the 11 titles won by Geno Auriemma, who coaches the Connecticut women’s team.

Ms. Summitt remained insatiable for victory, and defeat left her inconsolable. The low point of her career came with a stunning loss to Ball State in the first round of the 2009 N.C.A.A. tournament. At the time, Tennessee was the two-time defending national champion. None of Ms. Summitt’s teams had left the tournament so early. Afterward, she returned to her hotel room and watched replays all night.

“I didn’t sleep,” she later said. “I was so mad I threw things at the TV, yelled, screamed, cried.”

The next day, the Lady Vols returned to campus and Ms. Summitt made them practice, even though the season was over.

Ms. Summitt received the only sustained criticism of her career in 2007, when she canceled the annual games between Tennessee and Connecticut, a rivalry matched in college basketball only by that between the Duke and North Carolina men’s teams. She cited her concern with UConn’s recruiting of Maya Moore, who led the Huskies to two national titles and a record 90-game winning streak.

UConn did receive a slap on the wrist from the N.C.A.A. for arranging a tour for Moore of ESPN’s studios in Bristol, Conn. But that was considered a minor rules violation. Some sports commentators, and even some of Ms. Summitt’s former players, felt that she had put her personal conflict with Auriemma, the UConn coach, ahead of the overall good of women’s basketball.

“I am who I am,” Ms. Summitt said. “I will not compromise. No one is going to talk me into doing something I don’t want to do, when I know what I have been doing is by the book.”

Ms. Summitt began to notice changes in herself during the 2010-11 season: She grew forgetful during games; she lost track of meetings. After the season, she visited the Mayo Clinic, and doctors found that she had early-onset Alzheimer’s.

Ms. Summitt coached through the 2011-12 season, though her three assistant coaches assumed most of her duties during practices and games. The Lady Vols struggled at times but still came within one victory of reaching the Final Four. Shortly after the season ended, Ms. Summitt retired as head coach. She started a foundation to raise awareness about dementia.

Her memoir, “Sum It Up” (written with Sally Jenkins), was a best seller in 2013.




Monday, June 27, 2016

George Will comes to his senses

"Make sure he loses.” — George Will

MANY OF you may have already heard about conservative mainstay George Will bailing from the Republican Party

What took you so long, George

From NBC News:

Conservative Columnist George Will Leaves Republican Party Over Trump

By Elisha Fieldstadt
June 25, 2016

Conservative columnist George Will says he's changed his party affiliation, and during a speech urged Republicans not to vote for presumptive party nominee Donald Trump.

"This is not my party," Will reportedly said Friday during a luncheon held by the Federalist Society, a conservative and libertarian organization.



Will, a longtime Washington Post columnist, Fox News contributor and former Ronald Reagan campaign worker, said House Speaker Paul Ryan's endorsement of Trump was one reason he decided to leave the GOP according to PJ Media, a conservative website.

In an interview after the event in Washington, D.C., Will told PJ Media's Nicholas Ballasy that he had recently registered as an unaffiliated voter in Maryland.

He said Republicans should refrain from supporting the real estate mogul.

"Make sure he loses," Will said, acknowledging that he thinks it's too late for the GOP to come up with another candidate but they can "grit their teeth for four years, and then win the White House."

NBC News reached out to Will for further comment.

In his most recent column, Will similarly wrote that Republicans "can save their party by not aiding its nominee."

"Trump's campaign has less cash ($1.3 million) than some congressional candidates have, so Republican donors have never been more important than they are at this moment," he wrote.

Will has been critical of Trump since the early days of his campaign, and Trump has responded on Twitter by calling the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist "boring" and "biased." He also called him a "major loser" on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" in May.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Officially, the cutest kitten there ever was

“A kitten is, in the animal world, what a rosebud is in the garden.” ― Robert Sowthey

SO MUCH going on in the world. But tonight, it's the cutest kitten in the whole wide world. The video is below the still shot. (FYI: I always put a picture in because if I don't, when I share this on Facebook, it automatically sticks in a picture of me, and we don't want that now, do we?)



Friday, June 24, 2016

Let's all move to Hawaii

“Hawaii is not a state of mind, but a state of grace.” — Paul Theroux, American travel writer and novelist

SERIOUSLY, let's move to Hawaii. It's a tropical paradise to begin with, and now all gun owners in Hawaii are to be entered into an FBI database. I know!!!


And . . . wait for it . . . persons convicted of stalking or sexual assault are banned from possessing guns or ammunition. I'm not even kidding!! Be still my heart!!





State Senator Will Espero deserves thanks and commendation for introducing a humane and rational bill — and likewise Governor David Ige for being politically courageous enough to sign it. 
As attractive as the beautiful Hawaiian Islands already were, Senator Espero and Governor Ige have made them more so.  


From The Associated Press and NBC News:


Hawaii Governor Signs Bill Putting Gun Owners in Database


By The Associated Press

June 23, 2016 

Hawaii Gov. David Ige (EE'-gay) is signing a bill that makes the state the first to enter gun owners into an FBI database that will automatically notify police if an island resident is arrested anywhere else in the country.


Ige said in a statement Thursday the legislation is about community safety and responsible gun ownership. He says it will help law enforcement agencies protect Hawaii residents and visitors.


State Sen. Will Espero, who introduced the bill, and the Honolulu Police Department say the measure could serve as a model for other states. 


Ige also signed legislation that disqualifies perpetrators of stalking or sex assault from owning or possessing a gun or ammunition.


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Who's doing the killing and where

"Moments ago, the US Senate decided to do the unthinkable about gun violence — nothing at all. Over two years, when i was shot point-blank in the head, the US Senate chose to do nothing. Four months ago, 20 first-graders lost their lives in a brutal attack on their school, and US Senate chose to do nothing. It's clear to me that if members of the US Senate refuse to change the laws to reduce gun violence, then we need to change the members of the US Senate." — Gabby Giffords

MY POST from two days ago demonstrates the correlation between the federal assault weapon ban from September 13, 1994 to September 13, 2004 and a reduced frequency of mass shooting incidents and a dramatically reduced body count.


Here's a review of the numbers:


In the 12 years from when our tally of mass shooting begins in August 1982 prior to the Assault Weapon Ban in September 1994, there were 19 mass killings with 161 people killed and 185 wounded for a total of 346


In the ten years the ban was in place there were 15 mass shooting with 97 people killed and 197 wounded for a total of 294.


in the 12 years since the ban was removed in 2004, there have been 47 mass shootings with 411 killed and 361 wounded for a total of 772


Where are these mass killings taking place, you may wonder. In almost every state of the union. Red states are where a mass shooting has taken place. Unless noted with a higher number, there was one mass murder.






By race, who's doing the killing?


60% were white 

15% were black
7.5% were Asian
7.5% were other
6.25% were Latinos
3.75% were Native American

And what can we conclude? The Assault Weapon Ban worked — and it's not Mexican murderers you gotta watch out for, Donald you racist idiot; it's white people. 



Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Orlando and the assault weapon ban

“Senators say they fear the N.R.A. and the gun lobby. But I think that fear must be nothing compared to the fear the first graders in Sandy Hook Elementary School felt as their lives ended in a hail of bullets.” Gabrielle Giffords, former US Representative from Arizona and survivor of a mass shooting

I'VE BEEN what must seem uncharacteristically silent since (and about) the bloodbath in Orlando.


In addition to expressing heartfelt condolences, I don't know what to say that I haven't already said about the insane availability of guns, especially assault weapons, in the United States. I've blogged about it 37 times.


I was watching national news (as we all were, I'm sure), and the newscaster mentioned that when the BBC covered the Santa Barbara mass shooting in May of 2014, the BBC caster said, "Just another day in the USA."


I had already headlined a Hey Look post (click on the link to read it) with exactly that title four months prior to that.


Paul and I attended a gathering June 14 sponsored by One Iowa and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America called ’Love is Love is Love’: A Gathering to Remember, to mourn the victims and rally for stricter gun laws. Afterwards Paul said, "I'm tired of hearing about peace, love, and unity. I want to know what people are going to DO. I bet if every single person here today called and wrote their senator and congressperson twice a week, every week, we'd get their attention."






One of the speakers was a minister. The sound system was insufficient, so I didn't hear her name, but she identified herself as a lesbian (Lutheran or Methodist) minister. I  applauded her . . . literally . . . for having the courage to say that churches and religious organizations of many faiths and denominations need to accept some degree of culpability for inciting hatred. When someone who is viewed as having moral authority proselytizes about the sinfulness of a particular group of people, painting them as evil and the nature of their love as an abomination, of course it ramps up animus and contempt. How could it do otherwise? That can be the last impetus needed to push an already-angry, unstable individual over the edge to unthinkable acts.


Most of all, though, I blame Congress






Above is a meme that's been making the rounds. (
Actually the Assault Weapon Ban expired September 13, 2004, not 2005.)


Here's a quick overview from Wikipedia. "The Federal Assault Weapons Ban (officially, the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act) was a subsection of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, a United States federal law that included a prohibition on the manufacture for civilian use of certain semi-automatic firearms it defined as assault weapons, as well as certain ammunition magazines it defined as 'large capacity.'


The ten-year ban was passed by the U.S. Congress on September 13, 1994, and signed into law by then President Bill Clinton the same day. The ban only applied to weapons manufactured after the date of the ban's enactment, and it expired on September 13, 2004, in accordance with its sunset provision."


Below is a list I've compiled from Mother Jones and Wikipedia of all the mass killings since the assault weapon ban expired.


December 8, 2004    Damageplan show shooting    Columbus, OH

Nathan Gale, 25, possibly upset about the breakup of Pantera, gunned down former Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell and three others at a Damageplan show before a police officer fatally shot Gale.  Racial category: White    Weapons: One semiautomatic handgun    5 killed    7 wounded

March 12, 2005     Living Church of God shooting    Brookfield, WI  

Living Church of God member Terry Michael Ratzmann, 44, opened fire at a church meeting at a Sheraton hotel before committing suicide.  Racial category: White    Weapons: One semiautomatic handgun       7 killed    4 wounded    

March 21, 2005    Red Lake massacre    Red Lake, MN

Jeffrey Weise, 16, murdered his grandfather, who was a police officer, and his grandfather's girlfriend. Weise then drove his grandfather's squad car to Red Lake Senior High School and opened fire on the reservation campus, killing seven more people before committing suicide.  Racial category: White    Weapons: One semiautomatic handgun        10 killed             5 wounded killed

January 30, 2006    Goleta postal shootings    Goleta, CA

Former postal worker Jennifer Sanmarco, 44, shot dead a former neighbor then drove to the mail processing plant where she used to work. Inside, she opened fire, killing seven employees before committing suicide.  Racial category: White  Weapons: One semiautomatic handgun    8 killed    0 wounded

March 25, 2006    Capitol Hill massacre    Seattle, WA

Kyle Aaron Huff, 28, opened fire at a rave afterparty in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle before committing suicide. Racial category: White    Weapons: Two semiautomatic handguns, one rifle (assault), one shotgun     7 killed     2 wounded

October, 2, 2006    Amish school shooting    Lancaster County, PA

Charles Carl Roberts, 32, shot 10 young girls in a one-room schoolhouse in Bart Township, killing 5, before taking his own life.  Racial category: White    Weapons: One semiautomatic handgun    6 killed    5 wounded

February 12, 2007    Trolley Square shooting    Salt Lake City, UT 

Sulejman Talović‡, 18, rampaged through the shopping center until he was shot dead by police.  Racial category: White   Weapons: One revolver, one shotgun    6 killed    4 wounded

April 16, 2007    Virginia Tech massacre    Blacksburg, VA 

Virginia Tech student Seung-Hui Cho, 23, opened fire on his school's campus before committing suicide.  Racial category: Asian    Weapons: Two semiautomatic handguns     33 killed    23 wounded

October 7, 2007    Crandon shooting    Crandon, WI 

Off-duty sheriff's deputy Tyler Peterson, 20, opened fire inside an apartment after an argument at a homecoming party. He fled the scene and later committed suicide.  Racial category: White    WeaponsOne rifle (assault)    6 killed       1 wounded

December 5, 2007    Westroads Mall shooting    Omaha, NE

Robert A. Hawkins, 19, opened fire inside Westroads Mall before committing suicide.  Racial category: White   WeaponsOne rifle (assault)    9 killed    4 wounded

February 7, 2008    Kirkwood City Council shooting    Kirkwood, MO

Charles "Cookie" Lee Thornton, 52, went on a rampage at the city hall before being shot and killed by police.  Racial category: Black  WeaponsOne semiautomatic handgun, one revolver    6 killed    2 wounded

February 14, 2008    Northern Illinois University shooting    DeKalb, IL

Steven Kazmierczak, 27, opened fire in a lecture hall, then shot and killed himself before police arrived.  Racial category: White     WeaponsThree semiautomatic handguns, one shotgun    6 killed    21 wounded

June 25, 2008    Atlantis Plastics shooting    Henderson, KY

Disgruntled employee Wesley Higdon, 25, shot up an Atlantis Plastics factory after he was escorted out of his workplace for an argument with a supervisor. Higdon shot the supervisor outside the factory before opening fire on coworkers inside. He then committed suicide.  Racial category: White    WeaponsOne semiautomatic handgun       6 killed             1 wounded 

March 29, 2009    Carthage nursing home shooting    Carthage, NC Robert Stewart, 45, opened fire at a nursing home where his estranged wife worked 

before he was shot and arrested by a police officer.  Racial category: White    WeaponsOne revolver, one shotgun   8 killed    3 wounded

April 3, 2009    Binghamton shootings    Binghamton, NY

Jiverly Wong, 41, opened fire at an American Civic Association center for immigrants before committing suicide. Racial category: Asian    WeaponsTwo semiautomatic handguns    14 killed    4 wounded

November 5, 2009    Fort Hood massacre    Fort Hood, TX

Army psychiatrist Nidal Malik Hasan, 39, opened fire on an Army base in an attack linked to Islamist extremism. Hasan was injured during the attack and later arrested.  Racial category: Other    Weapons: One semiautomatic handgun   13 killed    30 wounded

November 29, 2009    Coffee shop police killings    Parkland, WA

Maurice Clemmons, 37, a felon who was out on bail for child-rape charges, entered a coffee shop on a Sunday morning and shot four police officers who had gone there to use their laptops before their shifts. Clemmons, who was wounded fleeing the scene, was later shot dead by a police officer in Seattle after a two-day manhunt.  Racial category: Black   WeaponsOne semiautomatic handgun     4 killed    1 wounded

August 3, 2010    Hartford Beer Distributor shooting    Manchester, CT

Omar S. Thornton, 34, shot up his Hartford Beer Distributor workplace after facing disciplinary issues, then committed suicide.  Racial category: Black    WeaponsTwo semiautomatic handguns    9 killed    2 wounded

January 8, 2011    Tucson shooting    Tucson, AZ

Jared Loughner, 22, opened fire outside a Safeway during a constituent meeting with Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) before he was subdued by bystanders and arrested.  Racial category: White    Weapons: One semiautomatic handgun    6 killed    13 wounded

September 6, 2011    IHOP shooting    Carson City, NV

Eduardo Sencion, 32, opened fire at an International House of Pancakes restaurant and later died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Racial category: Latino    Weapons: Two rifles (both assault), one revolver      5 killed             7 wounded

October 14, 2011    Seal Beach shooting    Seal Beach, CA

Scott Evans Dekraai, 42, opened fire inside a hair salon and was later arrested.  Racial category: White   Weapons: Two semiautomatic handguns, one revolver    8 killed    1 wounded

February 22, 2012    Su Jung Health Sauna shooting    Norcross, GA

Jeong Soo Paek, 59, returned to a Korean spa from which he'd been kicked out after an altercation. He gunned down two of his sisters and their husbands before committing suicide.  Racial category: Asian    Weapons: One semiautomatic handgun    5 killed    0 wounded

April 2, 2012    Oikos University killings    Oakland, CA

One L. Goh, 43, a former student, opened fire in a nursing classroom. He fled the scene by car and was arrested nearby a few hours later. Racial category: Asian    Weapons: One semiautomatic handgun    7 killed    3 wounded

May 20, 2012    Seattle cafe shooting    Seattle, WA

Ian Stawicki, 40, gunned down four patrons at a cafe, and another person during a carjacking nearby, then shot himself as police closed in. He died later that day in a Seattle hospital.  Racial category: White    WeaponsTwo semiautomatic handguns    6 killed    1 wounded

July 20, 2012    Aurora theater shooting    Aurora, CO

James Holmes, 24, opened fire in a movie theater during the opening night of "The Dark Night Rises" and was later arrested outside.  Racial category: White    WeaponsTwo semiautomatic handguns, one rifle (assault), one shotgun           12 killed    58 wounded

August 5, 2012    Sikh temple shooting    Oak Creek, WI

U.S. Army veteran Wade Michael Page, 40, opened fire in a Sikh gurdwara before he died from a self-inflicted gunshot would during a shootout with police.  Racial category: White    WeaponsOne semiautomatic handgun    7 killed         3 wounded

September 27, 2012    Accent Signage Systems shooting    Minneapolis, MN Andrew Engeldinger, 36, upon learning he was being fired, went on a shooting rampage, killing the business owner, three fellow employees, and a UPS driver. He then killed himself.  Racial category: White  WeaponsOne semiautomatic handgun    7 killed     1 wounded


December 14, 2012    Newtown school shooting    Newtown, CT

Adam Lanza, 20, shot his mother dead at their home then drove to Sandy Hook Elementary school. He forced his way inside and opened fire, killing 20 children and six adults before committing suicide.  Racial category: White   WeaponsTwo semiautomatic handguns, one rifle (assault), one shotgun (assault)    28 killed    2 wounded

March 13, 2013    Mohawk Valley shootings    Herkimer County, NY 

Kurt Myers, 64, shot six people in neighboring towns, killing two in a barbershop and two at a car care business, before being killed by officers in a shootout after a nearly 19-hour standoff.  Racial category: White   Weapons: Shotgun     5 killed    2 wounded

April 21, 2013    Pinewood Village Apartment shooting    Federal Way, WA 

Dennis Clark III, 27, shot and killed his girlfriend in their shared apartment, and then shot two witnesses in the building's parking lot and a third victim in another apartment, before being killed by police.  Racial category: Black  WeaponsSemiautomatic handgun, shotgun    5 killed    0 wounded

June 7, 2013    Santa Monica rampage    Santa Monica, CA

John Zawahri, 23, armed with a homemade assault rifle and high-capacity magazines, killed his brother and father at home and then headed to Santa Monica College, where he was eventually killed by police.  Racial category: White   WeaponsAssault rifle, high capacity magazines, antique handgun    6 killed    3 wounded

July 26, 2013    Hialeah apartment shooting    Hialeah, FL

Pedro Vargas, 42, set fire to his apartment, killed six people in the complex, and held another two hostages at gunpoint before a SWAT team stormed the building and fatally shot him.  Racial category: Latino    Weapons9mm semi-automatic handgun    7 killed   0 wounded

September, 16, 2013    Washington Navy Yard shooting    Washington, D.C.

Aaron Alexis, 34, a military veteran and contractor from Texas, opened fire in the Navy installation, killing 12 people and wounding 8 before being shot dead by police.  Racial category: Latino    WeaponsSawed-off shotgun, 2 boxes of shells; also a .45-caliber handgun taken from a security guard he shot at the scene    12 killed   8 wounded

February 20, 2014    Alturas tribal shooting    Alturas, CA

Cherie Lash Rhoades, 44, opened fire at the Cedarville Rancheria Tribal Office and Community Center, killing four and wounding two. After running out of ammunition, Rhoades grabbed a butcher knife and stabbed another person.  Racial category: Native American    WeaponsTwo handguns and a butcher knife    4 killed   2 wounded

April 3, 2014    Fort Hood shooting 2    Fort Hood, TX

Army Specialist Ivan Lopez, 34, opened fire at the Fort Hood Army Post in Texas, killing three and wounding at least 12 others before shooting himself in the head after engaging with military police. Lt. Gen. Mark A. Milley told reporters that Lopez "had behavioral health and mental health" issues.  Racial category: Latino    WeaponsHandgun   3 killed 12 wounded

May 23, 2014    Isla Vista mass murder    Santa Barbara, CA

Elliot Rodger, 22, shot three people to death in the college town of Isla Vista near the University of California, Santa Barbara. He also shot others as he drove around town, and injured others by striking them with is vehicle. He committed suicide by shooting himself in his car as police closed in. Prior to the rampage, Rodger stabbed three people to death at his apartment.  Racial category: White    WeaponsThree semi-automatic handguns and two hunting knives   6 killed 13 wounded

October 24, 2015    Marysville-Pilchuck High School shooting    Marysville, WA

Jaylen Fryberg, 15, using a .40-caliber Berretta, shot five students at Marysville High School, including two of his cousins and three friends, killing all but one. Fryberg arranged to meet them for lunch in the school cafeteria by text. Fryberg was reportedly well-liked at the school and there was not believed to be any ill-will between him and his victims. He committed suicide at the scene.  Racial category: Native American    WeaponsHandgun   5 killed   1 wounded 

June 11, 2015    Trestle Trail bridge shooting    Menasha, WI

Sergio Valencia del Toro, 27, in what officials say was a random act, shot and killed three people including an 11-year-old girl before turning the gun on himself.  Racial category: Latino    WeaponsTwo handguns     3 killed               1 wounded 

June 17, 2015    Charleston Church Shooting    Charleston, SC

Dylann Storm Roof, 21, shot and killed 9 people after opening fire at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. According to a roommate, he had allegedly been “planning something like that for six months."  Racial category: White    WeaponsHandgun   9 killed    1 wounded

July 16, 2015    Chattanooga military recruitment center    Chattanooga, TN

Kuwaiti-born Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, a naturalized US citizen, opened fire at a Naval reserve center, and then drove to a military recruitment office where he shot and killed four Marines and a Navy service member, and wounded a police officer and another military service member. He was then fatally shot in an exchange of gunfire with law enforcement officers responding to the attack.  Racial category: Other    WeaponsTwo assault rifles; semiautomatic handgun 5 killed    2 wounded

October 1, 2015    Umpqua Community College shooting    Roseburg, OR

26-year-old Chris Harper Mercer opened fire at Umpqua Community College in southwest Oregon. The gunman shot himself to death after being wounded in a shootout with police.  Racial category: Other    WeaponsFive pistols, one rifle, five magazines of ammunition   9 killed    9 wounded

October 31, 2015    Colorado Springs rampage    Colorado Springs, CO

Noah Harpham, 33, shot three people before dead in Colorado Springs before police killed him in a shootout.  Racial category: White    WeaponsTwo handguns and a rifle   3 killed    0 wounded

November 27, 2015    Planned Parenthood clinic    Colorado Springs, CO

Robert Lewis Dear, 57, shot and killed a police officer and two citizens when he opened fire at a Planned Parenthood health clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Nine others were wounded. Dear was arrested after an hours-long standoff with police. Racial category: White    WeaponsLong gun   3 killed    9 wounded

December 2, 2015    San Bernardino mass shooting    San Bernardino, CA

Syed Rizwan Farook left a Christmas party held at Inland Regional Center, later returning with Tashfeen Malik and the two opened fire, killing 14 and wounding 21, ten critically. The two were later killed by police as they fled in an SUV.  Racial category: Other    WeaponsTwo assault rifles and two semi-automatic pistols were used in the attack. Police found a remote controlled explosive device at the scene of the crime. At the home were 12 pipe bombs, 2,500 rounds for the AR-15 variants, 2,000 rounds for the pistols, and several hundred for a .22 calibre rifle. In the suspects' car were an additional 1,400 rounds for the rifles and 200 for the handguns.   14 killed    21 wounded

February 20, 2016    Kalamazoo shooting spree    Kalamazoo County, MI

Jason B. Dalton, a driver for Uber, apparently selected his victims randomly as he went on a rampage over several hours in three different locations, including five people he shot in the parking lot of a Cracker Barrel restaurant. He was "arrested without incident" at a downtown Kalamazoo bar about six hours after the rampage began.  Racial category: White   WeaponsSemiautomatic handgun   6 killed    2 wounded

February 25, 2016    Excel Industries mass shooting    Hesston, KS

Cedric L. Ford, who worked as a painter at a manufacturing company, shot victims from his car and at his workplace before being killed by police at the scene. Shortly before the rampage he had been served with a restraining order.  Racial category: Black    WeaponsSemiautomatic rifle, semiautomatic handgun   3 killed    14 wounded

June 12, 2016    Orlando nightclub massacre    Orlando, FL

Omar Mateen, 29, attacked the Pulse nighclub in Orlando in the early morning hours of June 12.  Racial category: Other WeaponsSemiautomatic rifle, semiautomatic handgun   49 killed    53 wounded 

Long list, is it not?


So what do these numbers tell us?


Since the The Federal Assault Weapons Ban of 1994 expired on September 13, 2004, there have been 411 people killed and 361 wounded in mass shootings, many, if not most, killed by assault weapons — 772 human beings dead or maimed. When you consider the parents, children, husbands, wives, extended families and friends of those 772 individuals, thousands of people's lives have been forever altered and traumatized.


In case you think the ban didn't make a difference, while it was in place there were 96 people killed and 101 wounded for a total of 197.


Ah, but wait. The length of time since the ban expired is longer by two years than the ban, so it's not apples to apples. 


Well then, let's make it apples to apples: In ten years since the ban expired there were 289 people killed in mass shootings and 221 wounded three times the number as there were while the ban was in place and a little more than twice as many wounded.


So yes, the ban made a difference.




Next time: Who is doing the killing and where.