50 Years Ago Today…
Fifty years ago today, Charles J. Whitman went to the top of the University of Texas Tower with 3 rifles, 2 pistols and a sawed-off shotgun and commenced firing at people below. The 25 year old student, apparently both mentally and physically impaired, had killed his wife and mother earlier that morning. From the University Tower, a 27 story building, he shot and killed 13 and injured 31 others over the next 96 minutes before he was shot and killed. The campus student body was traumatized and many were afraid to go outside for days. This was the first “mass shooting” in recent World history and there have been 72 mass shootings of record since. At the time, there was no precedent for such a tragedy. Whitman “introduced the nation to the idea of mass murder in a public space,” wrote Pamala Colloff in her 2006 Oral History of the Shootings.
At year’s end, the Associated Press and United Press International both ranked the Texas mass shooting the second most covered story of the year, the Vietnam War being first. The massacre changed policing tactics and spurred the creation of SWAT teams across the country. The “total” costs of protection today is almost as much as our entire budget was 50 years ago.
After several hours of research, the tragic results of 73 mass-shootings of record in this and other countries are as follows: There have been 992 killed, of which 256 were children; and another 1,018 injured. Almost half of these shootings have occurred in the USA and over half, (most of the recent shootings), have been in some way related to terrorism, either direct planned attacks, less planned, uprising attacks, or an act of initiation/want-to-be Islamic related ideology. This ideology is an “easy sell” to some, who know that, as a Christian, killing some one probably ensures they are bound for hell, whereas a Muslim killing infidels gets a ticket to heaven (Jannah).
Most “Western” society educational systems have now taken God, prayer, any form of Judeo-Christian religion, and even discipline, history, patriotism and respect out of their teachings and, in many places even forbid mention of it. However, our same education by government direction now allows, encourages Islam teachings and even the wearing of Muslim clothing (head-covering, etc) and are adding prayer rooms and rugs to schools and allowing time-off for Salāt. Christians and Jews are not permitted to outwardly pray in school, much less be allowed time off for it.
Archaeologists claim that far more people were killed with stick and stones, arrows and knives before the firearm was even invented. The gun is not the “killer,” the person is… hatred… racism and religious intolerance is the killer. The gun has just become “a quicker way.” But we need to treat the “problem”… the sick, the power takers, the drug addicts, the thieves, the religious intolerant and the politicians, who are the real threats to our live and our civilization.
This is my “Food for Thought” for the day, so think about it …and have a good dinner.