by John Ness, West Chester Patch, December 14, 2013 a
We looked at stories from across America in the year since the shootings at Sandy Hook School to try to illustrate the scale of the problem.
This article is a work of aggregation building on the reporting of scores of Patch reporters across more than 900 sites. It was written by John Ness and Catherine Crawford in consultation with over a dozen editors.
Saturday marks the one-year anniversary of the shooting at Sandy Hook School, where 26 people were murdered: 20 children and 6 educators. The horror of the event brought a renewed focus on the prominence of gun violence in America: its role in suicides, in domestic abuse, in accidents, in street crime, and, of course, in mass shootings perpetrated by the mentally ill.
The annual number of gun-related deaths now almost equals the number of deaths from traffic accidents: tens of thousands of Americans every year. We decided to try to convey the scale and diversity of gun violence by telling 100 stories from across our network. Our hope is that, while Newtown asks for some well-deserved privacy on this anniversary, these stories—of gunshots, threats, and people reacting to gunshots—can help other Americans continue the discussion about our problem with gun violence.
As the horrors at Sandy Hook Elementary flashed across TVs nationwide on Friday, Dec. 14, a man in Des Moines decided he needed to call the police. He told them about his ex-girlfriend, a 33-year-old woman who had been making threats against former co-workers. He said her mental health had deteriorated since she had been fired from her job. She had begun to hear voices, carried on conversations with people who weren’t there, and had compiled a list of people “she was going to take out.”
She wanted to acquire a gun, but doubted she would be able to pass a background check, he said. She admitted to having homicidal and suicidal thoughts, he said….
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