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Deadly beginning to 2009

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This year has started off on a murderous note. Last January, Tulsa had one murder. By the 15th of this January, we'd already had four. This is a big blow after ending 2008 with fewer murders than 2007.

The good news is homicide detectives worked the cases like crazy and have made an arrest in each one.

 The year started with a 15 year old boy shot in the head while he was visiting a friend's house. Someone from across the street fired random shots into the house. They didn't care who was there or who might be hurt or killed. A grandmother was inside the home as well and surely they couldn't argue they had a beef with her.

Then, a wife shot her husband through a closed door, saying she was afraid he was going to come into the room and choke her. She told police she only meant to warn him off, not hurt him.

We had two men fire shots at a man they were arguing with over drugs in the middle of the street. One of their bullets hit an innocent man in a wheelchair who had just gotten off a city bus.

The fourth homicide was men arguing in an apartment. Three guns are fired. One man dies.

It makes no sense that people are so quick to settle a dispute with a firearm. It makes even less sense that people are shooting at things they cannot see. Murder rarely makes sense and that certainly applies to these cases.

The mother of the 15 year old boy says she forgives those who shot into a house because they don't really understand what they're doing. I think her forgiveness is wonderful, but, if it's true, these kids don't understand what it means to take a life and forever devastate a family, then how do we change that?

Is it all the crime and shootings they see on TV? Is it the blowing off of heads in video games? Is it the belief their lives are so worthless that others are too? Why don't they understand how precious life is and how irreplaceable? What do we need to do to prove that to them other than send them away to prison for 40 years after the deed is done? I know I sound like a broken record, but, that message must start at home and then be reiterated at church and in schools. People are valuable, the most valuable treasure on earth and harming them, killing them with so little thought is not an option and cannot be tolerated.

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