If the recent tragic “woman scorned” murder/suicide in an office of the University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Public Health building, in Columbia, were to have a theme song, it would surely be Queen’s rock and roll classic, Another One Bites the Dust. “Are you standing on the edge of your seat? Out of the doorway, the bullets rip.”
Yep, sounds like an ode to the NRA. In yet another senseless gun episode, a highly respected, accomplished and beloved professor, Raja Fayad, was shot to death on campus on the afternoon of Thursday, February 5, 2015.
Fayad had acquired a medical degree in his native Syria before moving to the U.S. and entering the world of academia. Fayad became a major force at the School of Public Health. He was especially involved in anatomy and physiology. He was also deep into digestive and colon cancer research and headed a number of department programs. In short, Fayad was an academic exemplar of what a college professor should be.
In his personal life, he had at least one romantic relationship that fizzled out. His ex-wife, Sunghee Kwon, of likely Korean descent, given the name, continued to live with Fayad after their divorce a few years ago. In late 2014, that arrangement abruptly changed as Fayad moved out of the home, while Kwon remained.
There’s confusion over what happened next. Some sources say he moved into a long-term hotel with a family member. Other more tabloidish Internet sites, changed the description of family member to “new girlfriend.” In any event, Kwon took deadly umbrage to something, and marched onto the USC campus and up to a combination lab/office where her ex was working alone. She proceeded to empty a 9 mm clip, or at least a number of rounds, into Fayad’s upper body and subsequently pointed the weapon at her stomach, pulled the trigger once more and ended her own life.
There was rage in the shooting. Any detective or psychologist will tell you that when multiple gunshots are fired, the emptying of a clip is the same as the emptying of fierce emotions toward the victim. All professional people have a personal life as well. I don’t want to speculate on motive, I just want to speculate on why we, once again, are faced with the specter of deadly gunplay, regardless of the reason.
In my home state, you can pretty much conceal carry anywhere. Surprisingly, a university campus is not one of those places as far as I know, though one legislator has been pushing bills for the last 7 years to make it so. His bill would allow employees, if not students, to pack. This incident almost guarantees its passage in 2015. Because that’s what we do when there’s a horrific killing or murder involving guns. We pass legislation to allow more guns.
Do me a favor. Put a pencil in your hand. Have a pal recreate the Fayad shooting. That is, shooting someone who is not expecting to be shot. Your buddy can use his forefinger, stuffed in a pocket as the proxy weapon and when he/she pulls the finger from the pocket, points it at you and yells BANG, see if you can shoot him or her first before that sequence is completed. Remember, you’re symbolically HOLDING a gun. You can repeat that exercise a thousand times and a thousand times, you’re dead.
If someone comes to your church, school, office, home, a bar, or anywhere else you might be and that someone wants to shoot you unexpectedly, you cannot, will not, be able to react in time to defend yourself. Most states welcome concealed carry in all the above venues. I tried the finger as gun experiment with my wife. We’ve both fired guns. She has great reaction time while driving and in sports. It would have made no difference. She would have been toast with little more than a flicker of reaction. And with a semi-auto, I doubt there would have been any return fire after the first shot.
If Adam Lanza’s Newtown massacre of 20 six and seven-year-old children and six school staff members a couple of years ago, didn’t stir up the masses for sensible gun reform, a campus murder/suicide surely won’t do the trick. For you Sunday morning Christians, I guess maybe Lanza was carrying out God’s wrath on the 6 and 7-year-old wrongdoers.
I won’t call names here, because there are no names in any language that could truly convey what I feel about people who don’t care if children die.
And was an innocent mother a wrongdoer? She gets killed in a Wal-Mart by her two-year-old. Nobody with any power in our legislature will lift that symbolic finger to change any gun laws for the better. Laws are just for pulling more triggers. Gun lovers of a certain age are usually Reagan worshipers and yet, we’ve heard little regard or pity for his press secretary James Brady, shot along with Reagan and two others. He died nearly 34 years later from the consequences of being shot in the head. He passed, knowing that meaningful legislation driven by his efforts and those of his devoted, indefatigable wife, Sarah, were mostly for naught in his lifetime. By the way, there were three armed men in the president’s security detail.
You can already carry guns just about anywhere and everywhere in my Deep South region, including most red state booze-serving restaurants and bars. Have at it. Conceal Carry that manly accouterment, if it makes you feel like a stud. There’s just one legal caveat; no drinking in said establishment. ROTFLMAO!!! Every time I pick up the local paper, there’s been another shooting in a bar or a bar parking lot.
There’s purportedly been a dramatic drop in gun deaths over the last 10 years. And, indeed, the Pew Research Center presents strong numbers to that effect. Their president once held an upper echelon position with the Wall Street Journal. Interestingly enough, that same publication cites figures from 2000-2011 (the latest available) that show gun violence increasing even more than deaths are dropping. The difference is that more people seriously wounded by firearms are being saved through advances in medical treatment such as more trauma centers and helicopters, plus life-saving techniques learned on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan.
These are leading indicators. It takes a while to figure out what the influences on the numbers truly mean. It’s obvious that as many people, apparently considerably more, are being shot. So, the true meaning of the figures used to convince you that gun deaths are dropping and are no longer a priority, is neutralized by the truth of the matter.
Rejoice. You too can be saved from horrific gunshot injuries and still live the life of the late partially paralyzed, wheelchair-bound and slurred speaker, James Brady.
Addendum: Saturday, February 7th, in the Atlanta suburb of Douglasville, an ex-husband shot and killed his ex-wife, a man in the home, 2 children, and then himself. Two other children were critically injured.
Somewhere, Wayne LaPierre is yawning.
Image via MyFox8