Always a horrible waste

What a waste. What a horrible waste.

Less than two weeks ago, Hadiya Pendleton was leading her classmates in the King College Prep School Marching Band down Pennsylvania Avenue on the afternoon of President Obama’s second inauguration. It would be an opportunity of a lifetime for any 15 year old, but for Pendleton, it was her last. On Tuesday, she was gunned down in a park a few blocks from school on the South Side of Chicago, less than a mile from the first family’s home.

It’s always a horrible waste and it happens way too much. As I said at the time, the children at Newtown are no more (or less) of a waste because there was a larger than usual number of them for a single event. There are way too many Hadiya Pendletons in Chicago.

And there’s the school bus driver in Alabama who did his best to prevent a guy with a gun from causing harm to the children on the bus and was shot and killed.

Charles Albert Poland Jr., was driving a school bus for the Dale County Board of Education on Tuesday afternoon, a job he had done full-time since 2009.

At about 3:40 p.m. a gun-wielding man boarded the bus carrying 22 students near Destiny Church on Highway 231.

The suspect, identified to NBC News by a source close to the investigation as area resident Jimmy Lee Dykes, tried to take children off the bus — but the 66-year-old Poland was determined to not let that happen.

For his heroism, the driver was shot and killed.



  1. Nepenthe says

    Jesus. That’s less than a mile from my old apartment. Fuck, that blows. USA, the greatest country in the world, where a 15 year old girl can be shot to death a few blocks away from the president’s house.

  2. says

    But but but guns

    But but but 2nd amendment

    but but but ….

    No, no buts about it. It is far too frequent, it is far too horrible and it is too far from humanity to respond in any way other than with revulsion at these acts and determination to reduce access to guns.

  3. glodson says

    And that’s leaving out all the children that are killed accidentally by a gun in the home. No intruder to fend off. No bad guy to shoot. Just a kid, or kids, who find a gun.

  4. Zme says

    *sigh* Just more in an ever continuing series of blood sacrifices to the great and powerful NRA and their second amendment.

  5. says

    I’m an Australian, and it’s still so damn alien to me every time I hear of stories like this… aside from the tragic nature of shootings, the idea that there appears to be a genuine risk of being shot as you walk down a street, or in a school, or on a bus in the US is just weird to me. I know it’s not like it’s hailing bullets over there, but the idea that gun violence is such a factor is just so damn… odd. I don’t know how else to put it.

    It’s just so outside the realm of possibility down here. We have the occasional gun death, maybe the odd organized crime shooting, but it makes national news when it happens because, well, it’s just not that common. Heck, until I was well out of high school, guns were things I saw in movies. The only member of my family to carry a gun was a cousin in South Africa, during the aftermath of Apartheid, and he was shot in the head point blank – by his girlfriend during a breakup.

    I have never felt less free because I can’t walk into a store and buy a semiautomatic, or carry a pistol in my purse. I feel more free because I don’t feel the need to, and because I’ve never had to worry that anyone else might.

  6. carlie says

    The only positive thing I see in this right now is that so many gun crimes are being reported nationally now. It’s not an uptick in rate, it’s that since the Newton shooting, media outlets are reporting all of them. Things that previously wouldn’t have been more than local news are going everywhere, and I have to hope it’s at least in part a deliberate decision on the part of the media to take a side in this. “You want guns? Fine. We’re going to show you exactly what happens when there are so many guns.” Even if it’s a more cynical “gun violence stories are the most popular now”, that means more people are actually paying attention now.

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