On Monday the nation honored Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who was shot to death in 1968 with a single bullet from a Remington Gamemaster rifle. Also Monday, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and others shot with a 9-millimeter pistol Jan. 8 in Tucson continued to receive treatment, while six deceased were mourned.
Here is other news from that day and the 24-hours that followed:
In Oakland County, Mich., a .45-caliber handgun was stolen from a private home by a man who used it a short time later to kill Larry Nehasil, before being shot dead himself. Nehasil’s family said: “Larry died doing the job he loved, serving the city in which he grew up as a child with pride and honor.” Larry Nehasil, 48, father of two, was a cop.
On a sunny afternoon in Chualar, in Central California, a woman was selling ice cream from a pushcart when two men approached and fired four shots with a handgun. The vendor, age 31, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Rasheed Ola-Seyi Lasaki, a student at Florida A&M in Tallahassee, due to graduate in April, walked across the parking lot near his apartment and was shot dead. Police don’t know who did it or why. Lasaki, described by his teacher as “an extremely pleasant young man,” was studying criminal justice.
In Savannah, Ga., police stopped a white Monte Carlo that they believed had been stolen. The driver, 19, pulled a handgun and fired two shots into the police car. The officers were not hurt.
At a community in Montana known as Outlaw Hill, 81-year-old Thomas Kyros shot and wounded his neighbor, Georgia Smith, then reportedly pointed his gun at police and was shot dead.
In San Jose, Calif., a drive-by shooting at a shopping center left a 20-year-old man dead – the sixth shooting death during 2011 in a city that at this time in 2010 had none.
To the north, in San Leandro, 24-year-old Roy Benson was found outside a theater, shot through the head. Police have no suspects.
James Hardaway died in a Tuscaloosa, Ala., hospital. Hardaway, 30, was eagerly anticipating the birth of twins in May and had recently purchased clothes for them. He was sitting on his living room couch when a bullet came through the window and struck his head.
A 10-grade student in Los Angeles brought a handgun to school in his backpack. When it discharged during class, two students were seriously wounded. The boy who owned the gun said, “I’m sorry,” and then was arrested.
In Nebraska, Sen. Mark Christensen introduced a bill to allow teachers and administrators to carry concealed handguns in schools. Christensen authored the bill two weeks after a 17-year-old student at Millard South High killed his vice principal and shot his principal before killing himself.
Despite objections from police officials, a Wyoming Senate committee gave approval to a bill allowing people to carry concealed handguns without a permit.
Police in Spartanburg, S.C. said the caller to 911 was “calm, controlled and methodical” as he reported that he had shot and killed his father and great-aunt, and critically wounded his grandma. The caller was 14.
For those honoring Dr. King, and those mourning in Tucson, this week began with emotions of particular significance. Elsewhere in America, it was a very ordinary time.
Peter Funt is a writer and public speaker and may be reached at www.candidcamera.com.
©2011 Peter Funt. This column is distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons, Inc. newspaper syndicate. For info call Cari Dawson Bartley at 800 696 7561 or e-mail [email protected].