Strangely enough, it’s called Kirkwood Shooting Victim. Todd Smith, the last survivor of those shot at the Kirkwood City Council meeting last year, has started a blog. He’ll be talking about the shooting itself as well as common sense gun control measures. Remarkably, this is the second time Smith had been shot. He was previously shot in a random mugging in Delaware in 1997. The shooter in that instance was never caught.
I never expected to become involved in the gun control debate, but like so many others, I believed my life would be free from gun violence. Also, I am not against guns per se. I grew up in a rural area where guns were used for hunting and most people had them, and I even worked at a gun range. However, there is a difference between being a hunter and hunted. Since the second shooting, I’ve felt a need to find out what I could do to try and help others from having to endure what I have lived through. From what I have learned, I think microstamping, which would allow police to trace any gun used in a crime, is the right step forward. Microstamping creates a ballistic fingerprint that can identify the specific firearm used in a shooting. This would connect a bullet or cartridge case recovered at a crime scene directly to the make, model and serial number of the gun used in the incident.
Because microstamping makes it harder for criminals and those who abet them to hide, it should deter gun violence. Even in my cases, microstamping would have helped in finding the perpetrators who shot at me in 1997, since the bullet was pulled out of my leg. Although the identity of who shot me in 2008 is known, how he got the gun remains a mystery. While microstamping might not solve all the problems of gun violence in our society, it would be an important step in bringing healing and peace to myself and those unfortunate enough to become my brothers in arms.
I’ve been the victim of random violence in the past, though thankfully minor by comparison to Todd’s experience, and it was difficult to get back on track in the weeks following each instance. Kudos to Todd for keeping the focus on an event I’m sure he would love nothing more than to forget in the service of a worthy cause. I’ll continue to follow Kirkwood Shooting Victim to see how he progresses.
…By the way, HB668 will have a hearing today at 6 p.m. by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill contains an amendment allowing concealed weapons on college and university campuses. Good thing Michael is in Jeff City today.