April 18, Akron, Ohio: Four young people, two male and two female, were shot to death, execution-style, by bullets in the head in the basement of a townhouse.
April 21, Seattle, Wash.: A raging man with a concealed weapon permit shot his lover to death in their apartment, then went to a parking lot and killed two men. Then he returned to the apartment building and killed a neighbor. When arriving police told him to drop his gun, he refused, and died from police fire.
April 24, Manchester, Ill.: A gunman burst into a home and killed a grandmother, a young couple and two tots. The killer, with several guns, was killed during a police chase. He reportedly had quarreled with one of the victims about custody of their child.
Meanwhile, here in Charleston, police say ex-convict Antonio "Shake" Collins and a young man bumped together at a West Side convenience store, so Collins pulled a pistol and shot him in the face -- then he chased down the man's friend and also shot him in the face. Then Collins casually "picked up a bottle of water and strolled out of the store as if nothing had happened," detective chief Steve Cooper said.
These are a small sample of gun horrors that kill hundreds of Americans every week, year in and year out. No other modern nation tolerates such a bloodbath.
Conservatives in Congress and in West Virginia's Legislature have shown, time after time, that they will do absolutely nothing to protect Americans from endless gun carnage. Lawmakers fear that the all-powerful right-to-bear-arms lobby will defeat them in the next election if they impose any safeguards against gun murder.
Bravely, West Virginia's Sen. Joe Manchin crafted a compromise to extend background checks to gun shows and Internet sales, to keep murder instruments away from criminals and psychotics. But knee-jerk gun supporters in the U.S. Senate killed it.
This defeat infuriated former Rep. Gabby Giffords, who barely survived a bullet in the brain from an insane gunman. She and her astronaut husband formed a national alliance to defeat every senator who helped kill Manchin's plan. Her first two targets are Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H.
"In Kentucky, 82 percent of people support background checks; in New Hampshire, 89 percent of residents support them," the Giffords group said. "Sen. McConnell and Sen. Ayotte turned their backs on their constituents at home in order to do the bidding in Washington of the corporate gun lobby.... If we can't keep our communities safe with the Congress we have, we will work to change Congress."
As a first step, the Giffords committee will buy a blitz of radio ads denouncing the two senators. We hope it knocks them out of Congress, along with all other cowards who bowed to the gun lobby.