Bullets Shatter Lives Even When They Don’t Kill
On February 13th, one of my Daughter’s school mates was shot in the face at close range and left to die. He was discovered by the police in a pool of his own blood and barely recognizable. He is a senior in high school and a football star who had multiple scholarships to choose from for college. At least he did before that Tuesday when he ended up in the ICU at the hospital barely alive. Because of one bullet fired, his future remains uncertain in every way possible.
The whole incident started over $150.00 worth of Marijuana. No one is sure why an argument ensued in the back seat of the car driven by the shooter, but when it did, the driver pulled out his stolen semi-automatic weapon and shot the 18 yea -old in the face as he was trying to leave the car. The shooter himself was a schoolmate and only 17 years old. This was not a case of self defense if the victim was trying to leave, that much is clear. The shooter had on no shirt, no coat, and only shorts so to say he was erratic would be an understatement. It is the winter season in our area and very cold outside. The shooter had obtained the firearm from a year old unsolved home robbery (6ABC.Com).
The second that shot was fired, both lives were irreversibly changed and their future sealed in the amount of the time it took to fire the bullet. The shooter now sits charged as an adult in a county jail on a one million dollar bond for bail, and the victim still lies in the hospital, fortunately in stable condition. Months of physical therapy that may or not work are now the immediate future of this eighteen year-old star athlete.
As for the shooter himself, the broken human services system seemingly failed him. Based on his extreme behavior, it appears somehow he fell through the cracks in the system. It could be argued that if the shooter had had better adult supervision, he wouldn’t be driving around with a stolen semi automatic in his glove box. One of his friends was aware of the gun in the glove box (Philly.Com). However, presumably an adult was not or they would have taken the gun away from him.
We are all horrified by the gun violence in our country and the number of deaths that occur everyday as a result. On February 18, Gary Martin, a shooter who had been fired from his job killed five people and injured six. Martin did not own his gun legally either (CNN). Sadly, Martin is also now dead so add that to the lives lost that day. The Guardian wrote that gun deaths in the USA are the at the highest number seen in the last 20 years.
What happened to my Daughter’s school mate cannot even begin to compare to massive school shootings such as Parkland, and countless others. The difference with this shooting is the way it impacted my Daughter and her outlook on the world. When the collective school heard about the shot football star, they all broke down as they knew he was in the ICU and might not pull through. My Daughter saw her Principal, Football team players, coaches and teachers breaking down and crying in the halls.
It also did not help that the shooting happened on my Daughter’s best friend’s street and that her friend heard the incident occur. Nor did it help that the shooter lived on the same road as my daughter’s other very close friend. My daughter shared with me that after this experience she will never be the same, and she did not mean that in a positive way.
Activism regarding gun laws had greatly increased across the U.S. in 2018, but it did little to spur the Federal Government to action. Instead, states themselves are enacting restrictions and regulations. California, Illinois, Oregon and Washington State have achieved the most widespread reforms, but so many other states are lagging behind. The one thing the federal government did do is ban bump stocks (CBS News).
I urge everyone to contact their legislators and their members of Congress to stay on top of where they are with stringent gun control and if possible even help with the roll out process. I have lived in this township for six years and nothing like this has ever occurred before. Things are going to get worse unless we all start caring and and pushing for any possible gun control measure that can be written into law. If not us, then who? If not now, then when?