Kentucky Shooter Buys Gun…Hours Later Kills Three

Not all deaths from gun violence make national news. In fact, MOST deaths from gun violence do not. And that’s a shame…if they did people would be more focused on stopping this careening problem. So the butcher’s bill continues to grow unabated.

Tuesday, January 15th an estranged couple did what so many have to do in this society of broken relationships…they met at a neutral location, with a supervisor to make a custodial exchange of their two-year old. The 20 year old mother, Caitlin Cornett came to the Hazard Community and Technical College parking lot at 6:00 to make the exchange. She brought with her an uncle, 53 year old Jackie Cornett and his 12 year old daughter. Minutes after the meeting began, Jackie Cornett and Caitlin Cornett were dead and Jackie’s 12 year old daughter Taylor was in critical condition. Taylor was flown by air ambulance to the University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center, 80 air miles away. At the same time, the Hazard Community and Technical College executed lock down procedures for two hours as the local police sorted out what was happening and if the shooter was still in the area and active. Fortunately he was not.

The shooter, Dalton Stidham turned himself in to Kentucky State Police just hours after and admitted that he had, indeed shot three people.

According to the Hazard, Kentucky police 12 year old Taylor died this afternoon, less than 24 hours later.

This story received national attention last night. Not because of the impulsive deaths of a mother and her uncle but because it took place in proximity of a small college…the second college to be involved in shots fired that day.  The other, at the Stevens Institute of Business & Arts in St Louis involved a shooter using a Kel-Tec 9-millimeter semi-automatic pistol with its serial number filed off to injure the financial aid director.

Today more significant details of the Hazard shooting come to light.  The shooter had just bought the gun he used yesterday, just hours before he started killing. He said “I snapped”…but the purchase hours earlier suggests otherwise. The gun was purchased at Kenny Woods’ H & K Gun & Pawn Shop.  Kenny Woods is a Baptist minister who, on the side runs large, 10,000 sq/ft and larger, well attended gun shows. Stidham passed the required NICS background check and the owner, Mr. Woods said he did not look “strangely”.

The Hazard shooting happened just hours before another shooting in Perry County, where a man was seriously injured as shots came through his front door.

When the Brady bill was introduced in 1987 it originally called for a five day waiting period between buying a gun and taking it home. The idea was to implement a “cooling off period” as well as a thorough background check. The NRA succeeded in killing the waiting period. And the lack of it has been killing ever since.

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