LA Observed

Personal connection to Virginia Tech

Once around the LA Observed blogs:

  • Jenny Price writes at Native Intelligence that since the Virginia Tech tragedy, friends have been checking in with her a lot and asking if she is having a hard time.
They ask because my brother was shot to death six years ago. His future mother-in-law murdered both him and his fiancée in a spat over the apartment they shared.

And I have to answer—Well, not exactly. I’m horrified, and I’m sad. But is this shooting so different from all the others this week? It is entirely unsurprising....12,000 people are murdered in the U.S. every year with firearms—most of those with handguns. That’s 32 in a typical day. At year’s end, these 32 specific victims will not make a dent in the statistic for 2007—though these specific 32 families will reel for the rest of their lives.

40 million people in this country own guns: most of us are familiar with such statistics. The Glock 9-millimeter semiautomatic—one of Cho’s guns, America’s favorite murder weapon, and the gun used to kill my brother—is inordinately powerful and fires two bullets per second. Its sole purpose is to kill people effectively. Can we honestly be surprised when dozens of people daily pick up guns and do exactly that? The week of the Virginia Tech shooting, Los Angeles reported an especially large homicide toll: 9 of the 17 victims were 18 years old and under, and one was 2 years old. All 17 victims were shot.

  • Filmmaker Betsy Blankenbaker talks with SoCal Sports Observed's David Davis about her documentary Something to Cheer About, about the 1950s basketball exploits of Crispus Attucks High School in Indiana. The film opens in limited release today.
  • TJ Sullivan digs into the truth behind use of the term median home price and finds that all is not as it seems. He also spots the start of a crackdown on news boxes in Westwood Village.
  • Another shopping center is headed for Malibu, taking over a field where deer graze and coyotes forage.
  • Chickens are spotted, appropriately, in the neighborhood of Chicken Corner.

More by Kevin Roderick:
Standing up to Harvey Weinstein
The Media
LA Times gets a top editor with nothing but questions
LA Observed Notes: Harvey Weinstein stripped bare
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