By- Victoria Worsfold, Katie Schofield, & Troy Schisler
Country Wide Shooting
In just the past four years the U.S. homicide rate has almost doubled. In Chicago alone, the number of homicides out numbers U.S. troop killings in Afghanistan. Between July and August of 2012 the U.S. has suffered through three major shootings, including one of the largest mass shootings in U.S. history. These three shootings consist of the Colorado Theater, Wisconsin Temple and New York Empire State Building shootings.
On July 20, what was said to be the largest mass shooting in U.S. history, happened in Aurora, Colorado. During the midnight premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises,” James Holmes, an honor student at the University of Colorado, bought a ticket with no problem. After the movie started, he slipped out of the theater and an emergency exit that he later propped open. He returned at 12:39 a.m. dressed in a ballistics helmet, gas mask, gloves, and a bulletproof vest and leggings. He blinded all of his victims with smoke bombs and started to shoot in every direction. By the end of his attack 12 people were dead, 11 people were in critical condition and over 50 people were injured, including a three month old child. According to Colorado Gun Control Law’s, Holmes bought four guns, and over 6,000 rounds of ammunition, legally. Holmes was charged with 142 criminal counts, including first degree murder, attempted murder, and explosives charges.
On August 5, the U.S. suffered through another shooting. Wade Michael Page, a former alcoholic, killed 4 Sikh worshippers at a temple in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. As the police showed up at the scene a gun fight started between them and Page; Page was shot in the abdomen and later committed suicide by shooting himself in the head. The semi-automatic gun used by Page was purchased legally according to Wisconsin Gun Control Law’s. It is said that Page took part in racial singing groups which could be his motive for entering the temple. The toxicology tests are still pending on whether or not alcohol was a factor.
Another U.S. shooting took place on August 24, in New York. Jeffery T. Johnson, and expert marksman and former Coast Guard member, entered the intersection outside the Empire State Buildings carrying a .45 caliber pistol. Johnson then shot dead Steven Ercolino, an ex-co-worker, who he blamed for losing his job. After Ercolino fell, Johnson kept shooting until he was shot dead by the New York Police Department. The pistol Johnson carried, according to New York Gun Control Law’s, was purchased and obtained legally. In the end, the only two dead were Johnson and Ercolino, but nine others were injured due to bullet or fragment wounds; all injuries were due to the crossfire of the New York Police Department.
Overall, in just these three shootings, 19 people have lost their lives and over 60 were injured. As stated before, the number of homicides in Chicago alone out numbers U.S. troop killings in Afghanistan. After the shootings in Colorado, Wisconsin and New York, people are starting to realize that there truly is no safe place anymore. In the past four years the U.S. homicide rate has almost doubled; what will it be like in the next four years.
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