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message 1: by Kim, Proud Queen of the Fat and Fabulous! (new)

Kim (mrsnesbitt) | 1031 comments Mod


Yesterday a lonely young man opened fire in a school cafeteria and shot 5 students. This was between 7:30 and 8:00 in the morning, as many students were finishing breakfast at Chardon High School, in Chardon, OH. The teen sat at a table behind some other boys who have sat at the same table since junior high, and opened fire with a .22. The school,which has had regular drills for this type of situation, was put into lock-down, the shooter was chased off by a teacher, a medical grouping point was set up across the street and parents informed in real time all in minutes from the first blast. 5-6 shots in all, and the young man in custody an hour or so later. 1 student dead by noon,1 this morning, 1 still critical, 1 serious, 1 stable. The 3 critical ones were LifeFlighted to a level 1 trauma 30 miles away. The boys who were shot considered the shooter as a friend.

The boy who did the shooting comes from troubled home, has been picked on by others since middle school for the way he dresses (described as a type of "Goth") As to why he did this, we do not yet know. I have family in the Chardon area and a cousin who is a first responder in the area, so my stress level on this has been high.

In 1999, two boys walked into a school in Littleton, CO and did as much damage as they could before ending their own lives. They too were troubled and lonely, picked on for dressing differently and for being different. My older cousin and her husband lived in Littleton with their 2 children, one in high school, the other 1 year away from it. My cousin (the younger) was there that day. He saw his math teacher get shot in the elbow as his teacher was trying to get the students to safety. (2 years later, my cousins' husband, an airline pilot would be plane #3 on the tarmac at Logan Airport on 9/11, ready to take off when flights were grounded.)

To say that my family was changed on those 2 days is an understatement. Thankfully, my younger cousin and his teacher were fine, but he knew many of the victims who passed and those who were injured. My cousin and the rest of the family moved back here a few years ago to be closer to the rest of the family.

It is situations like this that make me wonder "If not for the grace of God go I." How many times was I picked on, picked on until I cried, or was harassed (had my rear end pinched while bent over in my locker, mooned in the hallway [yes, mooned in school, in the hallway,more than once],and other behaviors that would face zero tolerance now) among other things. Couple that with my own teen angst,depression, and other feelings and it could have been me pulling a "Carrie" only with a gun and not mental powers.

We are trying to stop bullying and we hope to end situations like this by putting and end to the situations that cause bullying. School should be a safe place to learn and grow and we do run a risk of a "police state" if we take too many precautions in keeping our kids safe. We all know the threat does not have to be from a student,that outside forces have been known to enter schools and do the same thing, like what has happened in Europe and here in Pennsylvania's Amish community a few years ago.

Why do children get caught in the cross-hairs of this type of violence? Because they are children and hurting someone else's child is the best way to hurt them. How many parent's use their children as pawns in a divorce? Not hurt the child, but to hurt the other parent. But what do we do when children hurt other children? How do we process that? As a nation were were shocked at Columbine and Virginia Tech. As a region, we are rattled here in Ohio.

Would I have ever considered taking gun to school and taking out my tormentors? I don't know. I did not have access to guns then, but I do wonder if I would have chosen to end my own life instead if I had had access to a gun or 2. I am not a violent person by nature. I do have a bad temper sure, we all do at times, but at heart, I am a pacifist. I maintain that any idiot can fire a gun, but it took a lot more to kill somebody with sword.

I walked around yesterday having Columbine flashbacks, personal ones, and flashing back to my school days, wondering yet again, how I would have reacted to things if I had access to fire arms 20 years or so ago. I hope that I wouldn't have done anything to anyone else and that if I was that despondent that I would have taken my own life and left others alone. I can't say.

This is not a "violent video games did this!" moment, nor are cartoons to blame. Society seems to have failed him. I do not know what all was being done to help this young man, if anything. All I know is that 3 young people lost their lives yesterday. 2 students passed, and 1 will never see freedom again.

It's all a colossal waste of life.

message 2: by Kim, Proud Queen of the Fat and Fabulous! (new)

Kim (mrsnesbitt) | 1031 comments Mod

The third critical student passed yesterday,and one was released. The serious one is still in the hospital and still considered in serious condition. The teen who shot them was in court yesterday and admits to doing all of this, yet he calmly and quietly said that he did not target anyone in particular. Many theories are abounding from an ex-girlfriend dating one of the boys, bullying, an abusive home, to a bad drug deal. We may never know the exact why of what happened. The teen who did this may not even know himself why he did this either. It may not have been pre-planned, it may have been a "hey, this sounds good to me now" kind of thought, and how many of us have had those kind of thoughts and sat there contemplating a bottle of pills,a knife, a razor blade or even a gun, and thought that ending our own life was a good thing to do at that time because we didn't feel that we mattered anymore?

This lonely young man made an incredibly bad choice. Were there days that I wished I could have permanently silenced those who picked on me? Wished I could "show them!" Yes. Did I ever entertain the idea of taking gun to school to do just that? No. If I had had access to one, would I? I don't know. I know what he did was extremely wrong and no one will ever be the same. Innocence has been lost,safety destroyed and lives shattered and we may never truly know why.

That may be the scariest thing.

message 3: by Paul (new)

Paul (merman1967) | 228 comments I feel very much the same as you. Teased endlessly (until I hit 6 feet tall when I was 11 or 12) made for a horrid aspect of my childhood... school. I had no concept of hurting others, but who knows if I had access to weapons what might have happened. Thankfully I will never know.

A truly scary thing about this... they are saying this is not the result of bullying... these were random students that he didn't even know. Don't think we'll ever truly know why, nor understand.

message 4: by Kim, Proud Queen of the Fat and Fabulous! (new)

Kim (mrsnesbitt) | 1031 comments Mod
As of today's paper, they are revealing more about this boy and it is being stated by many student that while this boy was quiet,he was not bullied,he was smart and quite funny. All he has said so far is that he did indeed fire the gun and that he "aimed high so that they wouldn't suffer." As to why,even he can't say.

message 5: by Kim, Proud Queen of the Fat and Fabulous! (new)

Kim (mrsnesbitt) | 1031 comments Mod
I would like to begin by saying that to any and all members who live in CT or have family near Newtown, you have my sympathy at this terrible time.

Yesterday, yet another individual who has been described as having a "personality disorder" took it upon himself for whatever delusional reason to take the lives of those he had no right to take. Again, we have a person who had been an honor student snap and do something unspeakable.

We as a nation are losing what innocence we had. From the first school shootings in the 1990's to now, they keep getting more and more viscous, more and more tragic, as if the newest killer decides that they "can do better" or something and seems to try to do more damage with each incident. We may never know why this person decided yesterday was the day to do what he did. We may never have answer that makes sense. There will never be a satisfactory answer, there never are, but sometimes we can understand WHY something happened, even if we don't agree with said reason.

Just this week alone, we had one national tragedy and one local tragedy that have no explanations as to why they had to happen. A lone gunman tried to kill as many as he could at a mall in Oregon, but thanks to drills, cool heads and a jamming gun, he only killed two,injured one, and possibly killed himself. Locally, a man shot and killed his wife, then himself in an employee lot for the airport,less than a 10 minute drive from my house. We are not clear as to why he felt she needed to die, but it is suspected that he was not happy with her friendship of a co-worker.

The young man that started this discussion is coming up to his trial soon,and they are in the preliminary stages now. They still don't really have a clear cut motive with him either. He confessed (which was thrown out this week because of improper Miranda notification) and we may never really know. Unlike many of these cases, he is still alive to ask questions of, and not have to wonder or piece together bits and bobs of his life to figure out why this had to happen.

I read that innocence of these children has been ripped away. There are many who are too young to really grasp this situation and who will be just fine in the years to come, those who will need extensive therapy,and there will be those who later on will not handle this well. Today there are parents divided between the joy of having their child safe and sharing the grief of those who do not. Today, there are parents who will forever dwell on the fact that the last words spoken to their child was in anger and not "I love you." Today, there are children who are grateful for their parents who many not have felt that way yesterday. Today, there are siblings grateful for each other. Today, there are siblings who regret that the last thing they did was fight with their brother or sister over something small and trivial.

Today, we as a nation mourn the loss of so many bright lights that did not have a chance to shine, to be a part of the world, to contribute what they could, to make a difference, to just be. I know how these kids feel. I've been on the losing side of senseless violence that ends a life. Not having answers that make sense, the loss of innocence, the almost unbearable instant of seeing the ugliest thing another human can do, the unending sense of loss.

There are no words to fix this, but the pundits will try. All of this will be distilled into sound bites, podium pounding, rhetoric, and various battle cries, but nothing will happen to stop the next tragedy from occurring, for there will always be that ONE person who will know how to beat whatever system is set up.

That is the real tragedy.

message 6: by Paul (new)

Paul (merman1967) | 228 comments I have nothing really to say about it, I am still in shock. One that died was a student teacher, a role in which I find myself in a few short weeks. I am saddened, I am appalled, and I am scared.

As to the Chardon kid... the judge did not throw it out. The defense admitted that they read him is Miranda rights, they were just claiming they should have done so repeatedly. The judge ruled that all statements may be heard by the jury.

message 7: by Kim, Proud Queen of the Fat and Fabulous! (last edited Dec 17, 2012 07:03AM) (new)

Kim (mrsnesbitt) | 1031 comments Mod
Sorry for my mistake. The last I had heard was that is was thrown out. See, I need to check my facts just like any other reporter.

As for the other topic at hand, I too am in a state of shock and disbelief as much as anyone in this country should be at this time. The president says that this is kind of thing needs to stop, and so the rhetoric begins. After Columbine (where if you will recall I had a younger cousin who was there that day and still bears the emotional scars of that day) there was a lot of talk about gun control, school security measures and the like. After Virginia Tech, even more ideas went around the block a few times, but very little was done on a national scale.

The second amendment has been so stretched beyond it's original wording, which to me spells out it's blatant intent, and that intent is no longer needed as it clearly states "in times of a militia" which was needed at that time as there was no standing army or other armed forces like we have now. I do not like guns, the idea of guns, being around guns, or being in the same house/room with one. To me all guns,no matter how well trained the handler is, are dangerous.

Guns are an impulse weapon that anyone can use,at any age, with no training what so bloody ever. A gun is always loaded as far as I'm concerned and that even a clearly unloaded one should be treated as if it is loaded. Too many people have become casual about guns, guns safety,storage and handling of them, that there is very little respect for them anymore. Yes, guns need to be respected, just like a big dog, or a biker gang.

I think we do need gun control, but SMART gun control. I am not out to keep any reasonable person from owning a gun if they wish, but there need to be universal guidelines and laws that make owning guns safer. To me this means, background checks for all purchases, no matter where you purchase them, mandatory waiting periods while the checks are being done (you'll still get your gun, but perhaps a cooling off time is needed), mandatory gun safety classes for EACH gun purchased,registering EVERY gun, mandatory licensing for ALL gun owners, with renewals just like a drivers license, with suspensions for violating the law,and random, surprise spot checks to insure proper gun storage is being followed.

I am not saying that you cannot own the gun, or how many you feel you need, but if they are show pieces, then I think they should be disabled from firing. Any gun that is not being used for hunting, personal protection or by an officer of the law, should have to have a trigger lock and be in a gun safe, or a secure cabinet (not a cabinet with an easily broken glass door) but one that is bullet proof and non breakable glass to allow display but not easy usage.

Some of you may think I am too extreme and that I am squashing your rights. That may be so,but I know first hand how an "unloaded" gun can kill. A year after "Harry"'s murder, a boy across the street from me played hooky and "playing around" drew his dad's gun on his older brother who was home from the Marine Corps. The older brother in an attempt the get the gun away from Ronnie, set it off by accident. Ronnie died. His brother still has to live with that to this day.

Gun control is too extreme?

Tell that to 27 people who died needlessly.

message 8: by Paul (new)

Paul (merman1967) | 228 comments Kim wrote: "Sorry for my mistake. The last I had heard was that is was thrown out. See, I need to check my facts just like any other reporter.

As for the other topic at hand, I too am in a state of shock a..."

But at the same time gun control will not stop anything. It is not a crisis of too easily obtained guns, it is a crisis of untreated, improperly treated, or undiagnosed mental illness most often. They choose to use guns here. In the middle east its guns and bombs. Apparently in China its knives (a man just attacked and injured 20 some-odd elementary school children with a knife in China, and it is a repeating occurrence there). Blocking access to guns will just have them switch to knives, swords, crossbows, explosives... whatever trips their trigger. Literally.

message 9: by Narzain (new)

Narzain | 194 comments And to top things off, I saw on the news this morning that gun shops are experiencing a boom in business now. Apparently people are rushing to buy all the guns they can (including, you guessed it, assault rifles) before the anticipated gun-control laws come about.

More fools with lots of guns. Yayyyy.......

message 10: by Kim, Proud Queen of the Fat and Fabulous! (last edited Dec 18, 2012 07:46AM) (new)

Kim (mrsnesbitt) | 1031 comments Mod
Like I said, we need SMART gun control, and by identifying those with illness of the mind or emotions, we may be able to KEEP the guns out of their hands. I know that we cannot stop any or all violence, it is after all human nature to be capable of violence, but until we can come up with enough money to help every single person on the planet get the help they need, we are only going to see more and more of this.

The numbers from gun deaths in this country are equivalent to a full 747 jet liner crashing once a week. That's over 11,000 needless deaths all because somebody who shouldn't have been able to access a gun did. Now, as to the fact that this young man did suffer from issues, the family did try to get him help, there just wasn't a lot to be found. By the numbers, most people with illnesses such as these are the LEAST likely to commit violence. All it takes is for one to snap, and everyone looks at anyone who is mentally or emotionally ill like they are a time bomb ready to detonate.

The signs and triggers are all different and no one really knows what may make a person do this. A few months ago, a man went into a local Cracker Barrel and shot his wife and 2 daughters, and was killed by police. There was an article just in Friday mornings paper on how he was before the situation, and his employer took his threats to harm his wife and children seriously, and ordered him to anger management. He still bought a cell phone jammer ("She didn't need to talk to anybody" he said) and was using online access to block her and the girls' phones. The wife had told him she wanted a divorce. This man had a history of violence and such, but no one seemed to intervene. He had access to a gun, despite his police and conviction record, and committed a very public and horrific act.

I don't think that gun control is our only answer, but I think that education, keeping certain people from having access to weapons period, and again, requiring licensing along with consequences,may make more gun owners more responsible and may keep impulse shootings down.

Yes, we do need to address the mental and emotional needs of children, but how do we keep from making every kid a target. It's like ADD/ADHD diagnoses. Way too many kids have been put on medication just because they were restless. I am afraid that we may go the extreme with early intervention for kids who really don't need it, and the kids that do will keep falling in the cracks because too much money was wasted on kids who are fine. I am also afraid that fear of these kids or adults who don't get the help they need will just blow out of proportion into a modern day witch hunt, resulting in nobody getting help and a grand return to the Victorian mental institution.

Violence begets violence and violence begets rhetoric. All the laws in the world will not stop any one who wants to cause harm from doing so,but if we can stop the access to as many deadly things from finding their way into the hands of those who rightfully shouldn't have access to them, then perhaps we have a chance at preventing this from happening again,and again, and again......

If anyone wishes to send a condolence note:

Message of Condolence
PO Box 3700
Newtown, CT 06470

message 11: by Kim, Proud Queen of the Fat and Fabulous! (new)

Kim (mrsnesbitt) | 1031 comments Mod
I read the Saturday arts and religion section sparingly. I was born and raised Christian and while by fat behind does not grace a pew anymore except for weddings, funerals or something for my nieces, I still consider myself to hold the basic tenets of my faith as being nice to others, treating people how I want to be treated, helping those who need help, etc.

I read the religious column from time to time, if the headline gets my attention or if the guest minister is someone who is interesting to read. I really like the columns from the head sports writer who also writes from an every man stand point and is usually a good read. Today, however, I was ready to strangle the paper when I read the guest ministers "reason for Newton". It was not a call to arms against people with mental illness, but it sure as little green apples isn't going to help anything either.

He posits that this young man was "possessed by soul evil" and that this is what made him do what he did, and that other mass/suicide shooters/bombers suffer from. What in the bloody world.......I mean !@#@# really? First of all, the suicide bombers are zealots who really believe in what they are doing (Crusades anyone?)and are not possessed by "soul evil". Evil is a concept created by religions to explain bad behavior and to create guilt.

Mental illness on the other hand, causes physical chemical imbalances that can cause impulse control issues, "hearing of voices", and other compulsions that they cannot control. I understand that people who suffer from these problems,and that treatments can make some of these symptoms worse, should not be used as an excuse for their behavior should they cause harm to others.

I realize that for many kids who suffer from Autism it is hard to punish them like other kids with groundings or loss of privileges because it is hard for their minds to process the idea of proper behavior. Something gets lost in translation either from their intent or from what they are told. My "nephew" has ADHD and he was difficult to deal with before his diagnosis. We knew he was a good kid, he just had trouble being one. Now, with mediation, techniques and medication (trust me, he truly benefits from it, MUCH more focused and can follow instructions MUCH better) he is doing better and is able to be the good kid we know he his and that HE knows he is.

I am all for intervention, getting parents help, seeking treatments and trying everything else we can to help these kids and adults who suffer from mental and emotional illnesses and disorders so we DON'T have last week, or Columbine or Paduca, or any other mass shootings occur again.

message 12: by Kim, Proud Queen of the Fat and Fabulous! (last edited Dec 27, 2012 07:46AM) (new)

Kim (mrsnesbitt) | 1031 comments Mod
I heard yesterday that a paper in New York published a list of every licensed gun owner in the area.

I'm sorry, did WHAT now?!

This comes on the heels of the idiotic thing the NRA said regarding Sandy Hook(and what to me has to be the most inane thing I have heard yet regarding Sandy Hook)was that "[If] One good guy with a gun had been there, he could have stopped this from happening."

I'm sorry, You said WHAT?!

I do not feel that the paper or the NRA are correct in doing or saying these things. While I feel that guns are not for me, I do recognize that there are many people who are beyond qualified to carry and use said weapons, I do not need to know who they are. As for the NRA statement, again I say bull cookies!

Unless the "one good guy" was a an expert Army Ranger Sniper or other top notch military level trained individual or a trained law enforcement officer, I really think it would have been even worse due to all of the extra bullets flying around!

I know no body is going to be truly happy with any results regarding school safety, gun control, or motive in this case, but some thought before speaking and doing would really help. By publishing that map, all you have done is make people targets, for either theft, anti-gun nuts, or some combination of the two.

I guess mass stupidity is more of a threat at this point over hysteria.

message 13: by Narzain (new)

Narzain | 194 comments And how many of those listed gun owners will be a victim of robbery in the near future? Bet they won't publish THAT list.

Mama Gump was correct, stupid truly is as stupid does.

message 14: by Kim, Proud Queen of the Fat and Fabulous! (last edited Dec 28, 2012 07:34AM) (new)

Kim (mrsnesbitt) | 1031 comments Mod

I think that we need to end this nonsense about the false obesity epidemic and put all the money and effort piled into that and focus on mental health awareness, screenings, programs, and assistance. That would go a lot further to help the situation.

The most recent thing I heard was to arm the teachers or the principals. Why not just arm the kids while you're at it?! That's all we need, some fire arm in a class room and some kid who finds it, decides to horse around with it or heaven forbid get angry at the teacher or a classmate and use the consarned thing!

We are going so far to one side or the other with this, that it is almost more scary than what happened.

message 15: by Paul (last edited Dec 28, 2012 09:44AM) (new)

Paul (merman1967) | 228 comments I am SO against arming teachers that I can't even begin to list all the reasons why, and I AM a teacher. I will leave it at saying this much... I am in Special Needs. Bringing a gun into my classroom would be unthinkable unless I were to lock it into a safety cubicle of some sort, defeating the concept of why I would have it in the room in the first place. Children with special needs vary widely in their capacities, but there are those that are dangerous without access to guns. A fellow teacher, very petite and not trained for moderate-intensive was placed in an autism unit, where there was a student that was at least 6 inches taller than her and outweighed her by a hundred pounds. He had a proclivity to strip nude and run down the halls, also liked to throw things like computers across the room. That teacher went home with new bruises almost daily. What horrid tragedies could unfold if children like that, with no concept of self-control, were to get their hands on loaded guns? Its unthinkable... and in that scenario who would be responsible for any injuries or deaths? The teacher that brought the gun into the room of course.

message 16: by Kim, Proud Queen of the Fat and Fabulous! (new)

Kim (mrsnesbitt) | 1031 comments Mod
One of my cousins, a now retired special ed teacher, had her share of students who were hard to handle and had difficulties, but I could never see her in a classroom with a fire arm and trying to defend a classroom with it, let alone keeping her students from getting a hold of the blasted thing!

I do not see how arming a teacher or principal is going to stop more of this from happening. Bullet proof backpacks and the like are only going to escalate the fear factor and not help kids learn any better than they are now. That's all you need, is to arm people with firearms and hope that they can defend themselves and the students in a high stress situation with no background in high stress situations.

I think we are going too far each way with this and we will never see a satisfactory solution.

message 17: by Kim, Proud Queen of the Fat and Fabulous! (new)

Kim (mrsnesbitt) | 1031 comments Mod
You can do some good for Sandy Hook. They are asking for WHITE paper snow flakes to decorate the school with before the kids return. You MUST mail them by January 12, 2013.

Connecticut PTSA
60 Connolly Parkway
Building 12
Suite 103
Hamden, CT 06514

I know what I'm doing today.

message 18: by JJBMocha (new)

JJBMocha | 6 comments Here in Canada teachers and children already made snow flakes and are sending them as a support. For people and children of Sandy Hook to know that they are not alone, that we care.

message 19: by Kim, Proud Queen of the Fat and Fabulous! (new)

Kim (mrsnesbitt) | 1031 comments Mod
I made close to 140 of them since Sunday and my local library is going to send them along with others.

message 20: by Paul (new)

Paul (merman1967) | 228 comments Cool! That is so awesome :)

message 21: by Narzain (new)

Narzain | 194 comments Yeah, I started making some last night. I won't hit Kim's numbers, but every little bit helps.

message 22: by Kim, Proud Queen of the Fat and Fabulous! (new)

Kim (mrsnesbitt) | 1031 comments Mod
I know that many of us have asked ourselves or on here, how we can come back from this as a community, a nation, and as individuals. I read a really great article in this mornings paper on how one group is helping Sandy Hook and themselves recover at the same time.

One of the students at Chardon High School founded a chapter of Project Linus ( which is a national organization that makes blankets for the severely ill or children who have had gone through a tragedy. You can start your own group or donate to the national group as you see fit.

As for Chardon, they as a school made around 175 blankets in the cafeteria to send to Sandy Hook because every one of the students had received blankets from Project Linus themselves and knew how it feels to have people show they care.

You don't have to send them to Newtown. Make then for your local hospital, a shelter,or your disaster relief. There are still countless people in need post Sandy that could use comfort as well.

This is how we "come back from this." We pull ourselves together and help show those who are hurting compassion and love. Start a teddy bear ministry at your church for shut-ins and those who have lost a loved one. Send a sign of love and hope into your own community.

We all need one.

message 23: by Kim, Proud Queen of the Fat and Fabulous! (last edited Feb 27, 2013 07:18AM) (new)

Kim (mrsnesbitt) | 1031 comments Mod
Today marks one year since the Chardon incident. In a "surprise" move yesterday that surprised only the media. T.J. Lane pleaded guilty and will move directly to sentencing on March 19,2013. Today,the city of Chardon will gather to remember those who were lost, and those who were injured will try to keep moving on. This school has managed to move on with what was, as this a scary thing to say, minor shooting as school shootings have gone. Yet this small town has had the benefit of Virgina Tech students who have made it their mission to bring positive things to the world. They have helped the Chardon students and the Newtown students an families with handling the tragedies at hand. In turn the Chardon students have helped the Newtown students with their grief and lent them support.

As the city of Chardon meets today to mourn a lost innocence, we must think about the disturbed young man who decided to take a gun to school that day and do what he did. We still do not know why, as he is not saying, but we do know that Lane, like others who have done this, may have fallen through the cracks of our system. There is talk about money all the time when it comes to schools and programs and the lack thereof. It not always a lack of funds, but HOW they are spent that keep much needed intervention programs from being available to those who need them. We squawk about this and that when a tragedy occurs, but as it becomes history, we fail to learn from it, and when it unfortunately occurs again, we start the whole process again. We talk about how we come back from this, from these tragedies, but the city of Chardon has done so, one day at a time, one student at a time.

Lane may have taken lives and hurt families, but with this act of pleading guilty, and really,how else could he plead, he is giving something to each citizen of Chardon, each student,and giving a gift the families he harmed. The lack of a trial will spare survivors from having to relive that day and undoing all their hard work to come to terms with it. It will spare the families from having to relive that day or hear heart wrenching details that they do not need to hear. With this plea, he is sparing the city a media circus and allowing this close knit town to move on. They will never be the same, their innocence has been lost for good, but perhaps they will all come out of this a little more aware of their fellow humans, feel more compassion, and have more understanding as time goes by.

Perhaps they will be more aware of kids like Lane who need intervention and will make sure those kids get it, and perhaps, we may avoid the next Newtown.

Peace be to you Chardon and to you the survivors. May what ever deity you believe in give you comfort, show you love, encourage your compassion, and deepen your understanding of others as you find peace with the situation. To T.J. Lane, I hope that by your plea, you are showing remorse and consideration for your actions. I hope you get the help you need and perhaps will be able to help council other later on and help prevent this same kind of tragedy from happening again.

To all of you, may peace and love follow you wherever you go.

message 24: by Kim, Proud Queen of the Fat and Fabulous! (new)

Kim (mrsnesbitt) | 1031 comments Mod
Yesterday, T.J Lane was sentenced to life in prison. This means that he could be released in 26 years. So, so much for life in prison. he appeared in court in a t-shirt with the hand written word "killer" on it, used profanity, and flipped the bird to the court.

I guess any remorse he appeared to have was just that, an appearance.

I hope that the families of the victims will now be able begin to heal as best they can.

message 25: by Paul (new)

Paul (merman1967) | 228 comments I thought they said three life terms, and that there was no eligibility for parole?

message 26: by Kim, Proud Queen of the Fat and Fabulous! (last edited Mar 21, 2013 06:53AM) (new)

Kim (mrsnesbitt) | 1031 comments Mod
Yes, there were 3 life sentences but according to the State law, life can have parole. "Harry's" killer has a life sentence as well, but now that he has served the minimum 26 years,he could be released. The possibility goes down the more heinous the crime,if the victims are still in the area, if they have not been a model prisoner, and if remorse is not shown, but it is possible. Because of the "he was a minor when he committed this" garbage, he couldn't face death.(If your are old enough to kill, you are old enough to face the death penalty.) Also, since he was 17 at the time of the crime, that is why he COULD get out in 26 years. It's some ridiculous loophole for minor offenders and over crowding in prisons.

Lane is high profile and will most likely be kept from gen. pop. for a good long while. Until he gets older or if someone else worse is housed with him. He will stand a chance at being housed in the same prison as "Harry's" killer, not that they would meet or anything, but there are few prisons in the state that house lifers.

I know in part how these families feel. I understand the frustration,anger,pain. These families now have a lifelong series of letters to write and petitions to sign to keep him where he belongs. Since this was so high profile and his actions in court will be viewed along with any parole boards. he most likely will not get out unless he's in a pine box. As memories fade, prisons become more crowded and life goes on,he may just get out.

Here's hoping he won't.

message 27: by Paul (new)

Paul (merman1967) | 228 comments I just double-checked. His sentence was three life terms with the stipulation of no chance of parole. He will, barring some unforeseen bit of bullcrap with the appeals process, never again take a free breath. If anyone has the stomach to see the so-and-so's face, the article about the sentencing can be read here:

message 28: by Kim, Proud Queen of the Fat and Fabulous! (new)

Kim (mrsnesbitt) | 1031 comments Mod
I really hope that this will be true but with the way prisons are going currently...well, there should be enough people to write letters SHOULD this become an issue. Let's hope it doesn't.

On another branch of this topic, a new law was enacted yesterday that will notify families of victims and the victims themselves should an offender be up for or paroled. Many families do not get notification unless they are victims of high profile crimes, have good lawyers or pay attention to the parole listings. This new law will hopefully allow more families to write letters and keep offenders behind bars, or at the minimum know that this person is being let loose on the public. This may keep victims safer from vindictive offenders and keep violent offenders under better watch by police.

message 29: by Kim, Proud Queen of the Fat and Fabulous! (last edited May 14, 2013 08:24AM) (new)

Kim (mrsnesbitt) | 1031 comments Mod
So,unless you have been under a rock this last week,you should know what happened in Cleveland last Monday. If you live here, you are probably sick to the teeth of hearing about it ad nauseum and will most likely start cussing me out for starting this topic. For those of you who only know a rough sketch, here goes. 3 young ladies were taken over 10 years ago and were found in a house several miles away from where they were taken yet not so far away that they were too far. Each one was repeatedly used and abused by a so called man who was that sure of himself that he deserved to have these young ladies as his. They were kept in a house with boarded windows,chained, tied up,and kept barely alive with food and water. They were taunted with seeing vigils from their families on television (for two of them) and one was forced to have this monsters child.

One of them had had enough last week and was able to escape and rescue all of them from this house of horrors as it has become known. This is now the second time Cleveland has been in the national spotlight for a horrific crime that was as the "Monday Morning Quarter Backs" will claim yet again that the police did not do enough to find them. (A few years ago it was a serial killer who stuffed the bodies in his house.) The media is gleefully trotting out any and all opportunities the police had to arrest this "man" over the years or even enter his home, for various and sundry things that has NOTHING to do with this case.

There were no reasons to have gone to his house should he have been arrested and who's to say that if he had been arrested that these young women would nave been any better off or found sooner. Who is to say that when he came home that he wouldn't have taken his anger out on them and made a bad situation even worse. A lot of "should,could and would" get thrown around in these cases, no matter where they occur. Every one starts pointing fingers,assigning blame, and gleefully trotting out every single item they can so they can vindicate their voyeurism.

Two of these young women were teens, one 15/16 the other 14. Their families held vigils, kept the girls' names in the public and made sure that we knew their names. The third girl, who was taken first and spent 11 years in this hellish house, was 19/20 years old and was figured by police to be an adult so not much was done to find her, which was and is procedure in many police departments around the country. The girls were thought to be runaways so the efforts to find them started slowly as well.

10 years later, procedures have changed, national rules are in place and better systems for Amber alerts and such are there because of this case and others like it, yet the finger pointing continues. We are basing our thoughts on what is done NOW and not what was done THEN. We are expecting retroactive procedures for cases that were never closed.

One of the young women has chosen not to have much contact with her family at this time and every one seems so shocked by this behavior. I for one don't blame her. She was the only one of the three I had never heard of, her family did not hold vigils and had believed her to have run off on her own. They believed she was alive,but that she did not want to contact them. She had left behind a young child, and had been angry over a custody issue. I would think that a woman who was angry about that would have contacted somebody about her child in all that time....but I could be wrong.

If I had been held in jail like an animal for 11 years and knew that my family had not gone to much effort to keep my name in the news,looked for me, or even seemed to care that I was gone, I probably wouldn't want to talk to them yet either. She and the other two have a hard row to hoe now. They will need extensive and intensive therapy to learn to deal with this, will have epic P.T.S.D., and one will have to keep looking into the eyes of a product of violence for the rest of her life,while another one may never be able to have children again since she was violently kept from having 5 children over the years.

I do not blame the young ladies for being in this situation as their captor has done. In his words,"they were stupid enough to accept a ride in my car." The "man" was not unknown to the youngest victim, whom he even helped search for, and the second one taken was under the impression that his son was a co-worker. The oldest, well if she was a runaway at the time, may have thought that he was taking her home or a bus station. We may never know.

We do know that the face of evil is well hidden. Yes, it would be nice if any person who was going to harm you and yours was blatantly marked in a way that made it easy to avoid them, but they aren't. Many times over it has been shown that abductions occur by persons known to the victim. They are trusted adults that no one would suspect, which is the point. The predators blend in. We saw it with the serial killer case of a few years ago. He lived in a neighborhood that is borderline and killed woman who were believed to be prostitutes so the police and community were slow to act for quite sometime.

In regards to the kidnapping,a columnist said that if we had a return to beat police officers, perhaps this situation would have been found out sooner. In a neighborhood that has several boarded up homes,had a problem with drug houses and gangs, and in an area that is predominantly Spanish speaking(so it may be a good place for other undocumented people to hide)causes people to be more "keep to themselves" vs. "let's start a neighborhood watch". So, the beat cop idea may be a good one. As soon as there is money to pay for it. There are plenty of officers who have been laid off that we could utilize.....but the days of Officer Krupke are long gone.

These young women have pleaded for privacy as they tend to their needs, get used to freedom, their families,new technology,and other things. Frankly, I'd like to give it to them, and I would love to see the media back the crap off and give them that space. These women will never know a day of peace again. They will always be trotted out for the media every time some kid is taken/found. They will be paraded locally on the anniversary of their rescue and they will always be known as the miracle captives.

They will not have their own identities and will be claimed by the city as poster children for a "miracle". A young girl will always know that the "man" who fathered her is a monster,and his grown children will now have to deal with being the "kids of THAT guy who....." so will their children. His other family members,one who owns a business at the end of the street where they were found, may never recover. They will always be tainted by one members sludge.

So many lives were changed last Monday,and many are still being changed by all of this. I am trying to understand how people are reacting to these women and the ridiculous things that they are saying. Like "Why wait until now? Why didn't they try to escape before?", and other assorted nonsense. Have any of these people ever been held captive? There weren't a lot of opportunities over years and many beatings occurred when he "tested" them, so perhaps there were tries and this was the one that worked.

We may never know exactly every thing that happened, and we shouldn't. These families and these young women deserve to have time, and the media needs to back off of every little detail. Locally we will know more than we will ever want to as this story is replaced nationally with bigger,better,worse,etc. things.

I am glad that they have been found,and that for the most part,they are fine. I am ashamed at the way CNN, FOX, MSNBC and the local media have acted and I will never understand the push to KNOW EVERY DETAIL NOW! culture. What I do know, is that human nature is a scary thing and no amount of "testing " will ever find all the things that make us the animals we are. We forget that. We are at our hearts animals, and when one of us acts like one, we have our nice secure worlds shaken.

This has shaken all of us, and this is what I am trying to understand.

Why? The eternal question. Why? Why did he do this and how did he get away with it for so long?

I hope we will find out, but if his suicide watch in jail fails,then that may not be so bad.

Cheaper than a trial.

message 30: by Paul (new)

Paul (merman1967) | 228 comments I cannot even begin to comment on this, even though I want to. All that I can legitimately say is that NOTHING, in any way, shape, or form will bring justice in this situation. There is no way to (legally) see that he gets what he deserves for this, nor is there any way to "make things right" for the three survivors. Severe malnutrition, physical and mental scars, physical deformities from the severe abuse... and so much more that we cannot even begin to imagine. How long until they can sleep without nightmares? Until they can walk down the street unafraid? Until they can go anywhere with a modicum of anonymity?

I sincerely hope that the news media collectively look sat how they have handled this case and make changes. Between the endless prying, pointless questions, endless looping of old news, not to mention how they accused a murder victim of being the Boston bomber during THAT tragedy.... change NEEDS to happen.

message 31: by Kim, Proud Queen of the Fat and Fabulous! (new)

Kim (mrsnesbitt) | 1031 comments Mod
I was reading column in the P.D. yesterday in which the columnist had been in touch with Brazilian colleagues who told him that the whole country was following this story. A comparison was made to the trapped miner story of a few years ago and how in a matter of one week they fell out of the public eye and have been forgotten about. These young ladies will not be so lucky locally,although the national scale is dialing back because too many news stories are happening now and they are scrambling to cover them all.

Locally, these young women will have cameras in their faces at the time of the trial (he of course is pleading not guilty.),every year on the anniversary of their escape,and whenever there's a slow news day. I feel for these women as I saw the fish bowl that "Harry's" family went through years ago and I know how hard it is going to be for them to adjust to things, provided they even choose to stay here. I am getting sick of all the coverage locally and I can only imagine what Boston is like with coverage of the bombing or what Texas will be like in the wake of the factory explosion and the tornadoes from last night.

The media has made us voyeurs and created the shark frenzy that we have come to take for granted. Televised moments that we really don't need to see are blurred with the public's right to know. These young women will now be seen as a public entity and will no longer have privacy.

I shudder to think that their new found freedom may be just a new fancier prison.

message 32: by Kim, Proud Queen of the Fat and Fabulous! (new)

Kim (mrsnesbitt) | 1031 comments Mod
O.K. in the department of "What the ******* **** are you thinking!?" I read a letter to the editor the other day regarding the man who helped the first woman escape from the house of horrors. Locally, Charles Ramsey has been touted as a hero and many local restaurants signed on to give him free burgers for life since he was quoted as been eating a "Big Mac" when he saw Amanda Berry waving for help. He has been very humble and level headed in all this, keeping to the "neighbors need to help neighbors" thought and "I just wanted to help."

Well, one letter writer felt that Ramsey is not a hero at all since he did not risk his life to save the woman, that was the police who entered the house and freed the others. As far as the letter writer was concerned Ramsey did nothing of note and does not understand all the hoopla over him.

I pose this question. How many of us would have run over to a boarded up house and helped a person remove the bottom of the door, help that person out, give them our phone and wait with them until police came? We all would like to think that we are the type of person who would do just that. We like to think that we are the helpful type who would stop to help, but most of us would probably figured we were seeing things or that someone else would help.

Ramsey may not have broken down the door and rushed in the house to rescue the others, but he did save 4 lives that day. His actions ARE heroic and he did facilitate the rescue of the 2 women and the young girl. Ramsey has publicly denounced the whole free burger scheme telling those places "to help those girls" instead. To me, that makes him even more of a hero. He is humble, truly humble,and that is something most people cannot seem to be. I think that is what bothers the letter writer, that Ramsey is shunning his 15 minutes of fame, and that the writer cannot condemn him for that, so they feel that they must condemn him for something.

We need more men like Ramsey in our neighborhoods. Perhaps if more people decided to help, we may have less boarded up houses, less missing persons, and a healthier society.

message 33: by Paul (new)

Paul (merman1967) | 228 comments You are so right... though it is rather a sad statement on humanity that doing the right thing garners hero status.

message 34: by Kim, Proud Queen of the Fat and Fabulous! (new)

Kim (mrsnesbitt) | 1031 comments Mod
With almost 400 combined counts against him,the "person" ( a term a I use loosely) responsible for the young women and their forever nightmare,pleaded "not guilty" yesterday at his arraignment. He would consider pleading "guilty" if he can avoid the death penalty.

He's 52. He would never see a execution in the first place by the time he uses up all of his appeals, he will die in prison of old age! Prison will see his demise as he will have to be kept out of gen.pop. to keep his sorry behind alive, which bothers me to no end that he gets to live and think about his time with those girls. That will be his mental escape, his time with those girls. He will be in a physical prison, but his mind will not,and he can relive his "glory days" over and over again.

All of you should know by now how I feel about the death penalty and that it should be used and more often. Those who say it's not a deterrent are right, it's not because we don't utilize it enough. This monster has eared himself a "head of the line" pass to Old Sparky. The level of malevolence, planning, terror, horror, and just plain wrongness of this,needs to send a strong message to anyone who is thinking about this that there is no tolerance for this kind of behavior.

The trial will be bad for the girls, and that may be used a bargaining chip on his behalf to get the D.A. to accept a "guilty" plea with death penalty removed. If I were those girls, I would want to see him squirm on the stand and tell my story for the record. I would not want to give him any consideration or quarter.

He needs to pay for this destruction of lives. He deserves to suffer and those women deserve justice.

message 35: by Kim, Proud Queen of the Fat and Fabulous! (new)

Kim (mrsnesbitt) | 1031 comments Mod
Today is 1 year after the senseless shootings in Aurora, CO at a movie theater. We all know that the one responsible was one of the many who needed help and have either fallen through the cracks or have resisted any help offered to them. This tragedy reinforced just how important it is to make sure that those who need help are given said help and that the help is consistent.

I know we cannot force people to take their medications or go to therapy,and that we can be over the top with early interventions, but we need to change how we see those who need help. We have a tendency in this county to go to one extreme or the other when something like this happens, and as soon and the immediate furor dies down, we go back to the status quo before the incident.

Since the mind is so complex and one therapy or theory of treatment does not always have the same affect on every person, it is still up in the air on HOW to effectively treat those with mental illnesses. It was not too far ago that we accepted lobotomies as the way to go and committing an undesirable relative such as your lesbian Aunt was not out of the norm.

We see our selves differently than how others see us,and yes from time to time we may do or say things that fly in the face of what is considered normal parameters. I know that many have thought I was not "right in the head" many times over the years because I am not like other people. I sing in public. I dance in public. I dance at parties, all by myself and with abandon. I will strike up a conversation with strangers and I will read while walking.

I am not Borg, so I don't fit in. The ones who truly have imbalances may not be as far gone as we think, but many who go untreated, may go too far,and do the harm we fear they are capable of doing. We may never figure out why the brain does what it does or why sometimes our bodies just decide to be different, but as we mark 1 year for a tragedy that shouldn't have happened, remember those who have been forgotten and not just those who were lost to a bullet.

message 36: by Kim, Proud Queen of the Fat and Fabulous! (new)

Kim (mrsnesbitt) | 1031 comments Mod
Today, the house where the unspeakable happened under the noses of an entire neighborhood,was torn down for good. The county land bank owns the land and will develop it into what ever the survivors and the neighborhood wants. I feel that since the women have not had to face their tormentor in a trial (he accepted a plea deal that the women were on board with) that is is an acceptable way for them to move on from this moment in their lives. Will they ever be completely over this? H*** no! But,this action may give them some control over what happened.

This will not sit as an abandoned house,or lurk with dubious reputation, nor will hyenas be able to profit from piece of the property (although it is bad enough that people have been taking photos of the house. One guy on the news last night had come in from New Jersey for crying our loud!). It is amazing what a little bit of feeling like you are in control can do to help your recovery and improve your mental state after you have been through a trauma. You have had so much happen that you couldn't control, that that little bit means a lot, and at times, is your life line.

I am hoping for a park or community garden that will pull the neighborhood together, so that neighbors go back to knowing each other and noticing when things are wrong. Too often we get caught up in our own minutiae that we forget about the front porch. There was a time when you sat on your front porch or stoop and you knew your neighbors, you knew if something was wrong, and you did something to help.

Their captor will live in prison for the rest of his unnatural life, no parole ever,and the only fresh air will be fenced in with barbed wire. I know that his victims were fine with this, and that one spoke at his trial, with her back to him. He says that he is "not a monster. I'm sick." He claimed he wanted to apologize to his victims then turned the blame on them instead. Is he sick? Yes. Is he a monster? By our standards, yes, he is. He is a human animal that was not thinned by the herd.

Now his victims must try to go on living knowing that there are more humans out there just as bad if not worse than this. This is what scares us the most about this case. That a human being lost control of the delicate mask we all adhere to to be acceptable to society.

Perhaps with the ugliness of the specter that was this structure gone, some beauty and faith may be restored to this neighborhood and these women. This perhaps was the wake up call needed for us all to remember that beauty can come in every shape, from a park, a garden or a pile of rubble.

message 37: by Kim, Proud Queen of the Fat and Fabulous! (new)

Kim (mrsnesbitt) | 1031 comments Mod
Last night, the coward hanged himself in his cell. He subjected his captives to over 10 years of imprisonment while he only lasted a month.

Good riddance.

message 38: by Kim, Proud Queen of the Fat and Fabulous! (new)

Kim (mrsnesbitt) | 1031 comments Mod
O.K. what happened this weekend in California has all of us talking. There is a major backlash on the internet right now from women about misogyny and the arrogant little turd who decided that his entitled behind was deserving of attention and that his actions were justified. Way too many people feel that what he did was justifiable. He did something that so many rejected people wish they could do, that I am afraid that there are other whipnuts out there who may now see this as a call to encouragement, the shot in the arm that they needed to go out and show the world that they too feel that this a just and true way of showing us women whose boss.

Part of his whining was that at 22 he was still a virgin. Um, whose fault was that? According to this "perfect gentleman" it was the fault of women who were "too stuck up" to go out with him. Just by looking at the few pictures of him and the brief clip of his video rant, he was the reason women wouldn't go out with him. The arrogant tilt of his head,the blatant smirk in every picture and the deadness in his eyes are what kept women away. I have to say that he is good looking, so it wasn't his Phantom of the Opera skull face that kept them away, it was him, but of course he would never admit that to anyone, not even himself.

I look at my life and wonder if I had been a different type of person, how many of these types of incidents could have I perpetrated? I am not being flippant here, but am truly wondering "if not for the grace of God, there go I" didn't play a big part in my life. If I had been more exposed to guns and had access to them, would I have taken one to school and gone after my tormentors? I was 31 before I met Narzain and it was a year before I lost my virginity, so what kept me from taking my car through a bar window and take out all of the men who refused to date me?

The sense that I was not entitled to do so. The idea that the world does not owe me something for existing. Too many of our kids are being raised without the word "no" as part of their vocabulary, without having every whim satisfied, without having consequences, with the notion that everything they do deserves praise,and that everyone is a winner, no matter how unskilled you are.

This is putting a lot of kids into the mind set of righteous indignation and entitlement that is all in their heads, but spilling out into our world. Misogyny is alive and well in may cultures, hiding being religion as it keep it's cowardly self from direct fire. Every major religion has it's dark side with females, one that is still perpetrated to this day in many cultures and churches world wide. This is used to justify keeping women from work, from education, from anything the men deem fit to keep from them, all because women are seen as wrong,as temptresses that keep them from doing what is right, playthings that are there for one purpose, as a mark of their virility via how many children they have, the list goes on.

I do not think that we will ever rid ourselves of misogyny, as it is a form of bullying, and that too will never truly go away as long as any human craves any kind of power. What I do fear, as I have said, that we will see more of these entitled young people committing more of these types of lash outs as they find out that the world is not go9ing to praise them every time they tie their shoes.

message 39: by Kim, Proud Queen of the Fat and Fabulous! (new)

Kim (mrsnesbitt) | 1031 comments Mod
I love "Jeopardy" and I did NOT like Arthur Chu when he was on for the way he played the game. It was not just the jumping around the board but how he glared at his opponents and handled himself. I now have a new found respect for him. I know HOW he played was not WHO he is but his essay on the Daily Beast regarding the above subject is just, well wow.

message 40: by Narzain (new)

Narzain | 194 comments Wow indeed. That was quite a well-spoken essay on a very disturbing subject. And it's made me look at several movie & TV icons from my past in a different light, as well.

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