Five Years Without Valentines

It was five years ago today when Valentines stopped for 17 high schoolers and teachers at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL. They were killed by a former student. Apparently, he had issues. Maybe he was full of hatred for others who were doing well and he, not so well. Maybe others were wealthier, so he felt like he was on the bottom of the social totem pole. Maybe he just felt powerless and had to find a way to feel powerful.

Darth Vader told us something about that.


Feeling powerful is what the Dark Side is all about. It isn’t about justice or fairness. It isn’t about righting wrongs. It is only about feeling powerful for a few moments. It is about holding the power of life and death over others. It is about putting a pitiful band-aid on the desperate, bottomless hopelessness and despair of one’s fear about one’s value. That’s when everything is transformed and the power of the Dark Side becomes known.

The Uvalde shooter knows it. So does the Sandy Hook shooter and the Mother Emanuel AME Church shooter. The Columbine shooters know it, as do the Tree of Life Synagogue shooter and the Buffalo shooter and the Monterey Park shooter. They all know the power of the Dark Side and they loved the feel of it, the smell of it, the taste of it.

Jamie Guttenberg

But people like Fred and Jennifer Guttenberg hate that the shooters know that, because one of those murderers killed their 14-year-old daughter, Jamie, and 16 others that Valentines Day five years ago. She was a dancer. Then suddenly she wasn’t. Now she’s a face for what the Dark Side does and is a placeholder for all the victims of impotent people who find their power by harming or killing others.

Jamie would have been 19 years old now. Maybe she would be a freshman in college. Maybe she would be enrolled at a dance conservatory. We’ll never know and neither will her parents or her brother, Jesse. All because a loser wanted to feel powerful, so he ended all Valentines for all those kids and teachers by going to the Dark Side. And nothing changed to make kids or anyone else safer.

Five years earlier twenty-six first graders – little 6 and 7 year old kids – and staff were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Those kids would be getting their drivers licenses around this time, but of course now they won’t.

That massacre was going to turn the corner, soften the hearts of legislators and break the hold of the gun industry on politicians. It remains baffling that 26 murdered little kids changed nothing.

These are the victims of the shooting at Robb Elementary School, Uvalde, TX, 5/24/22. The sister of one of the kids who was killed asked, “Mom, what picture will you use for me?

Last year, following the shooting of 21 children at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, TX and the mass murder of grannies at a supermarket in Buffalo, congress at last passed a law to promote gun safety. 193 Republicans in the House voted against it.* The law does some good things. And it’s a pitiful substitute for what we really need. Read the caption to the left.

We still haven’t done what we all know we need to do to stop murderous rampages. We probably won’t do those things until we decide that we love our children so much that:


we stop allowing an extremist minority (the ones who need guns to feel strong) to control us and our laws;

we stop tolerating massive campaign contributions from the gun industry to power-craving, self-serving politicians;

we stop mouthing platitudes and actually do what’s needed to deal with mental illness.

Until then our kids will continue to do active shooter drills, hiding under their desks, terrified. Some of them will die. And some will be huddled in corners, hoping Mom has a good picture of them for their memorial.


Breaking News

As of 12:42AM EST February 14, 3 are dead and 5 are injured, some with life threatening injuries, from shootings the prior evening. This happened on the campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. Police encountered the shooter who then killed himself.

This is one of over 43 shootings just yesterday. So far this year there have been 5,205 shootings, of which 2,235 were homicides and 2,970 were suicides, which are much easier to do with a gun than any other way.

Now we have yet more stopped Valentines.


  • * We must dedicate ourselves to crushing the political careers of these greedy cowards, hypocrites – you pick the word – who allow this carnage to happen. They weenie out of accountability, essentially saying, “Hey, I didn’t pull the trigger.” They justify gun ownership for any moron with a few bucks, this on the basis of a fraudulent reading of the Second Amendment and a baseless claim of freedom.
  • They continue to make it so very easy for people to go first to the Dark Side, then to a gun store, then to a school campus to start shooting people to death.
  • Fire the bastards!


No post tomorrow. See you Sunday.


  • Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:
  • Fire the bastards!
  • The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.

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3 Responses to Five Years Without Valentines
  1. David L Lindgren Reply

    The Michigan State killing yesterday was by a killer who was described as having “no apparent motive”. Maybe the motive was “I detest arrogant, privileged college students and will take out my aggression by USING A GUN”.

    We can investigate whether he has a license or had an illegal automatic weapon. It won’t change a damn thing. People can diagnose his likely “mental illness”. It won’t change a damn thing. They can investigate that he got the gun illegally. It won’t change a damn thing. Oh, his father just chimed in that Anthony his son bought a gun after being arrested on a “WEAPONS CHARGE”.

    The issue is … when are “innocent” gun owners going to confront all of the gun killings in this “unique country”? Have we heard from them? Not really but THEY are the problem! And GUNS are the problem!

    It is time for a cumulative attack on the 2nd Amendment. AND there needs to be ACCOUNTABILITY on gun owners. It’s identical to the national uprising over automobile accidents and the government requiring people to be accountable. So if you want to own a gun, bring it with you to the (Illinois here) States Licensing office and provide testing and accountability in gun ownership. If you do not have an automobile license, then you cannot drive. If you do not have a gun license registered by the state, you should lose your gun.

    This will probably need to start state-by-state as obtaining consensus through our US Congress would be too disparate.

    I want to emphasize that private gun owners are the problem. They have done NOTHING to address the innocent killings.

    I am sure that you will have something to say about this. I have not read anything yet blaming the gun owners nor have the gun owners provided any real solutions.

  2. Joni Lindgren Reply

    I’m sick and tired of waking up in the morning with more shooting deaths!
    The Republicans will never go up against the NRA because they are getting money from that dreaded organization.
    Why don’t the Democrats go up against the NRA??? Statistics show that the majority of Americans, with guns and those without, want something done!! Again, why don’t those in the Democratic party go up against the NRA??

    • David Lindgren Reply

      Just some clarification, dear Joni, although descendent from Sweden is not a relative, that I know of. And I love you for being “sick and tired “of the shootings.

      Well, Joni, what do you suggest that the Democrats do against the NRA? Chris Murphy, Dem senator from Connecticut took a huge stand. It really comes down to gun owners who have not stood up. If you go the political route of comparing Dems and Republicans, it will be neutralized in Congress. Should the President make a sweeping decree? Just check out my earlier post. Thank you.