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Valentines Day Massacre Redefined

in a motel near NIU, Kazmierczak boosted his nerve and smoked his brain with alcohol and cigarettes

Wikipedia and other reference and resource materials have a definition of the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre that will soon need to be updated. It must now share it’s infamy.

Seventy-Nine (79) years to the day after the Scar Face Gang committed the most infamous massacre in American history with the cold blooded killing of seven (7) members of the Bugsy Moran Gang while their Mob Boss, Al Capone, lay untouchable in Florida, another young man made his unforgettable mark in the State of Illinois while his diabetic father (unlike Capone) sat unknowing in the sunshine state.

Dateline: St Valentine’s Day, 14 February 2008, Dekalb, Illinois

An hour or so and just over Sixty (60) miles due west of Chicago a skinny, troubled, Twenty-Eight (28) year old, Steven Kazmierczak, reminiscent of a Clint Eastwood spaghetti movie, stepped from behind a curtain at a lecture hall holding more than One Hundred and Fifty (150) students and speaking not a word opened fire gangland style on the unsuspecting class. Kazmierczak had masked his inner demons with his friendly exterior.

Unlike the Chicago gangs of Capone’s era the six (6) people killed by Kazmierczak were engaged no unlawful activity. They were running no bordellos, were not guns for hire, and the prohibition period of our nation’s history with it’s speakeasies was but a faint memory when the alumnus ended the career of six (6) of his fellow Huskies before they began.

Mid-afternoon, St Valentine’s Day, 2008, while the Tennessee Mountain Man finalized celebration plans for Cupid’s favorite day, a former NIU sociology graduate student, dressed in a long black coat and carrying a shotgun and two (2) hand guns was practicing the reverse of Cupid’s love magic. The gunman himself was enrolled in classes at the university just one short year earlier.

The curriculum of the Computer man, in years past, while he studied law and law enforcement sciences included the Chicago underground and the lawless gangland days. While it was an interesting period to study, it must have been a fearful time for the residents of the day. And, nothing in the original St Valentine’s Day Massacre prepared one for the NIU Massacre of 2008.

Not even the earlier high school and college shootings over the last few years had prepared anyone to foresee and prevent the NIU massacre. This was, after all, perpetrated by one of their own… an outstanding student by all accounts.

Having apparently spent the night before in a Travel Lodge Motel near the college, Kazmierczak boosted his nerve and smoked his brain with alcohol and cigarettes as evidenced by the beer cans and cigarette butts scattered about the room. The NIU gunman then gathered the tools to apply the trade for which he would be remembered and made his way to the school.

Leaving much more ammunition behind in his motel room secluded in a duffel bag he left many more questions than could be answered. Adding to the suspense, he apparently left no suicide note which police have come to expect to help them determine the suspect’s motive and state of mind. The totality of the experience makes one ask what he planned for an encore and why he

suddenly decided to end it when and where he did by taking his own life.

Cho Seung-Hui, a 23-year-old senior, responsible for the massacre at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia almost a year earlier in April, 2007, like Steven Kazmierczak, was a young man with many demons… you may simply call them mental issues, but they are demons that haunt men day and night until some break under the assault.

Both of these men, like Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, before them, who embarked on the 1999 shooting rampage at Columbine High School, Littleton, Colorado, have turned our educational campuses into modern day shooting galleries.

The Tennessee Mountain Man would not want to be a student on America’s campuses today. Back in the day police officers and properly licensed citizens, including students, carried side arms at all times including in banks, schools, restaurants, bars, court houses, etc.

It is time we stop trying to be ostriches. It is time we get our heads out of the sand or where ever we have shoved them and reverse the course of only criminals, those with mental issues, and individuals with the propensities of the Harris’, the Klebold’s, the Cho’s, and the Kazmierczak’s carrying weapons in our society.

Guns are neither good nor bad. They are inanimate objects. But, when guns are outlawed anywhere, only the criminals or the criminally insane (by definition) will bear arms.

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Last modified: August 24, 2022

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