Monthly Archives: January 2007

The First Homicide of 2007

As 2006 ended, I wondered if I should continue reporting on the homicides that take place in the city of Tacoma. There were 22 homicides in Tacoma in 2006. That’s almost two a month.
And I just wasn’t sure I wanted to continue telling the world all about the
deaths that happen in a city that is actually a really great place. So I
figured I’d think about it for a week or two.

But no. For reasons he wants to keep to himself some 18-year-old student of Tacoma’s Foss High School took a pistol to school Wednesday morning and killed 17-year-old Samnang Kok. Two hours later, cops picked him up not far from the school. Because it happened at a school, this rated CNN coverage and any site that’s going to talk about Tacoma, had better talk about this. So here it is, homicide number one of 2007.

School shootings are nothing new and don’t seem to be going away anytime soon. Relatives of the shooter say that he’d brought a gun to school in the past and that he ‘bought and sold guns’. If this is true and the parents knew about it, then I think they too can be blamed for this tragedy.Because
regardless of what anyone might think, it’s not the video games or the music or the violent movies that help make kids into murderers. It’s the lack of
attention where there should be devotion. It’s outright apathy where there
should be love.It’s acting like you can’t be bothered to be a parent when you’re a parent that does the most to create these kinds of people. Parents look everywhere but in the mirror for answers to these questions. Parents will say that they ‘can’t control’ their children. And to a certain extent that’s true. But you can raise your children to have respect for life and respect for the law.You can give them the values that help them become good people.
And you can discipline your children when they misbehave instead of thinking,
‘oh well, he’s buying and selling guns’.

There’s talk again of putting metal detectors in Tacoma schools. This is a waste of time and money.
What’s to stop a student from just gunning kids down in the parking lot? Or
slipping a gun through a window? Or on the field? The truth is you can’t stop
students from bringing guns to or near schools and it’s wishful thinking that
you can. Even if you found a foolproof way to keep guns out of schools, what’s to stop that same kid from just doing a drive-by on the school?

Personally I’m tired of people passing the buck when it comes to who to blame for these things. The 18-year-old who shot Samnang Kok is to blame for the murder. The relatives of the shooter are to blame for not doing anything about his illegal and immoral behavior. And that’s where the buck stops. It is not the fault of the school for not having metal detectors anymore than it is the fault of Samnang Kok for not wearing a bulletproof vest.

Of course it’s a tragedy when these things happen at schools, but really it’s a tragedy whenever one person takes another person’s life. It destroys the families of not just the victim but the shooter as well. Here’s hoping the next tragedy doesn’t occur anytime soon.

Rest in Peace Samnang Kok.


Note: Whenever possible I avoid naming the murderers because I don’t think murderers names should be mentioned in the media or anywhere else. Often half the reason for the murder is for the fame the media gives these people. I don’t intend to give them that satisfaction.