Another sad tragedy due to "gun free zones"

This is a discussion on Another sad tragedy due to "gun free zones" within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; NEWARK, New Jersey (AP) -- In a city where gun violence has become an all too common part of daily life, these shootings were enough ...

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Thread: Another sad tragedy due to "gun free zones"

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array SubNine's Avatar
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    Another sad tragedy due to "gun free zones"

    NEWARK, New Jersey (AP) -- In a city where gun violence has become an all too common part of daily life, these shootings were enough to chill even the most hardened residents: Four young friends shot execution-style in a schoolyard just days before they were to head to college.
    art.killings.ap.jpg

    Family friend Cathy Rainey, left, holds up a 2006 photograph of Iofemi Hightower, 20, and Terrance Aeriel, 18, who were shot to death Saturday.

    Three were killed after being forced to kneel against a wall and then shot in the head at close range Saturday night, police said.

    A young woman was found slumped near some bleachers 30 feet away, a gunshot wound to the head but still alive.

    The four Newark residents were to attend Delaware State University this fall. No arrests had been made by Monday and authorities had not identified suspects.

    The shootings ratcheted up anger in New Jersey's largest city, where the murder rate has risen 50 percent since 1998. The high number of killings have prompted billboards in the downtown area that scream, "HELP WANTED: Stop the Killings in Newark Now!"

    "Anyone who has children in the city is in panic mode," Donna Jackson, president of Take Back Our Streets, a community-based organization. "It takes something like this for people to open up their eyes and understand that not every person killed in Newark is a drug dealer."

    The killings bring Newark's murder total for the year to 60, and put pressure on Mayor Cory A. Booker, who campaigned last year on a promise of reducing crime.

    Jackson said Booker "doesn't deserve another day, another second, while our children are at stake."

    Booker said Monday that it was "not a time to play politics and divide our city." A $50,000 reward was being offered for information leading to the arrest of those involved, he said.

    A month ago, Booker and Police Director Garry McCarthy announced that crime in the city had fallen by 20 percent in the first six months of 2007 compared to a year ago. Yet despite decreases in the number of rapes, aggravated assaults and robberies, the murders have continued.

    Natasha Aeriel, 19, was listed in fair condition at Newark's University Hospital. Police identified her slain companions as her brother, Terrance Aeriel, 18, Iofemi Hightower, 20, and Dashon Harvey, 20.

    Authorities believe the shootings were a random robbery committed by several assailants and that some of the victims may have tried to resist their attackers. They were piecing together details of the attack from interviews with Natasha Aeriel. Video Watch how the victims were ambushed »

    Hightower and the Aeriels had been friends since elementary school and played in the marching band at West Side High School. Terrance Aeriel, known as T.J., took Hightower to the school prom in 2006, chauffeured by his sister.

    At Delaware State they met Harvey, another musician, and struck up a friendship. Friends and family members said the four were not involved in drinking, drugs or gangs.

    They liked to congregate at the school, which sits in a middle-class neighborhood less than a mile from the campus of Seton Hall University, to hang out and listen to music.

    Harvey's father, James, said Monday the parents of the assailants were to blame.

    "If you raised your kids better, this would not happen," he said.

    Hightower worked two jobs and recently enrolled at the school. One of her jobs was at Brighton Gardens, an assisted living center in nearby West Orange, where her mother also worked.

    On the afternoon of the killings, she told her mother she planned to spend the night at Natasha Aeriel's house near the Mount Vernon School.

    "The last time I heard her voice was Saturday night," Hightower said between sobs. "She called me from work to let me know Natasha was going to pick her up and she was going to spend the night. She told me she loved me."
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    The Aerials' mother, Renee Tucker, said the last time she saw them was around 10:30 p.m. Saturday, when they told her they were going around the corner to get something to eat.

    "They said they were going to come right back to the house," Tucker
    Last edited by SubNine; August 6th, 2007 at 11:00 PM. Reason: New Jersey
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  3. #2
    Member Array K4Kimber's Avatar
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    Thank you for sharing what is a very sad story.

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    It is a sad story but it is indicative of cities and/or states that think making themselves "gun free" will solve this type of crime problem. It won't and I think Spyderdude was simply pointing this out. New Jersey will simply attack this problem by trying to blame guns and enact more useless laws. They never seem to learn, and it is frustrating.
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    Member Array K4Kimber's Avatar
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    Joe - You, Spyderdude and I are in violent agreement. However, my experience living in the Northeast for a number of years showed me that the anti-gun attitude exists accross all social and ethnic groups.

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    I made an edit in OP hoping it was a typo!! Following that removed one post last made, referencing said content.

    This sounds very much like an event of some coupla years or more ago but I have no immediate material to reference.
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    Distinguished Member Array SubNine's Avatar
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    Sorry ,that was a typo, I meant to put New Jersey.
    USMC rule # 23 of gunfighting: Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet.

    I am the God fearing, gun toting, flag waving conservative you were warned about!

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    Thx - relieved to hear it - but it was 'unfortunate'

    J and N are uncomfortably close on the keyboard, give you that!
    Chris - P95
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    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


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    Sad story for sure...the young thugs responsible WILL, most likely, have long rap sheets...but with little, if any, punishment...

    The liberals will just make more gun laws...
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    This can happen anywhere. These kids were not old enough to carry. Very sad.
    But i'm sure the state will use it as an anti issue for more gun control.

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    Quote Originally Posted by robere View Post
    This can happen anywhere. These kids were not old enough to carry. Very sad.
    But i'm sure the state will use it as an anti issue for more gun control.
    My thoughts exactly. Even if it wasn't a GFZ they likely still wouldn't have been able to adequately defend themselves.

    Moral of the story--make your house the coolest place anywhere for your teens & their buds to hang out. Spend the money so you can control the environment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by havegunjoe View Post
    It is a sad story but it is indicative of cities and/or states that think making themselves "gun free" will solve this type of crime problem. It won't and I think Spyderdude was simply pointing this out. New Jersey will simply attack this problem by trying to blame guns and enact more useless laws. They never seem to learn, and it is frustrating.
    Yup. Couldn't have said it better.

    The high number of killings have prompted billboards in the downtown area that scream, "HELP WANTED: Stop the Killings in Newark Now!"
    This kind of thing just screams out, "Help! We're a totally impotent city, utterly at the mercy of our criminal element; somebody please come in and bring magic that will save us!!"

    That, instead of the people of the city banding together to say they will stop, by any means necessary, people committing violent crimes. And by that I mean that the city should be allowing, advising, and recommending that the good people arm themselves to defend against the evil people.

    What, do they think that "hiring the right police chief" will be the solution? Cities always seem to think along those lines, and it's always pathetic.

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    This just underscores the need for people to teach their children that the go along to get along philosophy of dealing with violent thugs does not work. When armed thugs order you to line up against a wall folks need to understand that they must not comply. At that point people need to understand that they must run, fight, or do anything but comply. Unfortunately folks do not address such things with their children and when they are confronted with such violence they instinctively revert to the compliant victim line of "defense" we constantly hear from authority and in the news. The only victim who survived was 30 ft away. At the very least they should have been taught to run for their lives.
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    I was reading that story yesterday. It's disturbing that someone could just execute kids like that.

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