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Jul-20-2012 14:57printcomments

The Circle of Madness is Closing

Twenty-four year old Jessica Ghawhi narrowly missed death by gunshot in Toronto on June 2. She was gunned down forty-eight days later, in the early minutes of July 20 near Denver, in a movie theatre.


(CALGARY, Alberta) - On June 2, 2012, 24 year old Jessica Ghawi, a neophyte sports reporter from Denver, was visiting Toronto, Canada. She went to the Eaton Centre mall for sushi, but changed her mind at the last moment. On her blog later she wrote:

"Instead of walking in, sitting down and enjoying sushi, I changed my mind, which is very unlike me, and decided that a greasy burger and poutine [A French Canadian dish of chipped potatoes topped with curd cheese and a tomato-based sauce] would do the trick. I rushed through my dinner. I found out after seeing a map of the scene, that minutes later a man was standing in the same spot I just ate at and opened fire in the food court full of people. Had I had sushi, I would’ve been in the same place where one of the victims was found."

She added:

My receipt shows my purchase was made at 6:20 pm. After that purchase I said I felt funny. It wasn’t the kind of funny you feel after spending money you know you shouldn’t have spent. It was almost a panicky feeling that left my chest feeling like something was missing. A feeling that was overwhelming enough to lead me to head outside in the rain to get fresh air instead of continuing back into the food court to go shopping at SportChek. The gunshots rung out at 6:23. Had I not gone outside, I would’ve been in the midst of gunfire.


Gun crimes are fairly common where I grew up in Texas, but I never imagined I’d experience a violent crime first hand. I’m on vacation and wanted to eat and go shopping. Everyone else at the mall probably wanted the same thing. I doubt anyone left for the mall imagined they [would] witness a shooting.”

Most poignantly she wrote:

"I was shown how fragile life was. I saw the terror on bystanders’ faces. I saw the victims of a senseless crime. I saw lives change. I was reminded that we don’t know when or where our time on Earth will end. When or where we will breathe our last breath."

Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert, in a New York Times op-ed piece on the tragedy wrote:

"This would be an excellent time for our political parties to join together in calling for restrictions on the sale and possession of deadly weapons. That is unlikely, because the issue has become so closely linked to paranoid fantasies about a federal takeover of personal liberties that many politicians feel they cannot afford to advocate gun control."

What the American people don’t realize is that virtually all of their personal liberties have already been compromised, and not by the government, but by the private sector—the same part of the economy that sells them their guns.

Ebert ended his article with:

"The circle of madness is closing."


Born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Daniel Johnson as a teenager aspired to be a writer. Always a voracious reader, he reads more books in a month than many people read in a lifetime. He also reads 100+ online articles per week. He knew early that in order to be a writer, you have to be a reader.

He has always been concerned about fairness in the world and the plight of the underprivileged/underdog.

As a professional writer he sold his first paid article in 1974 and, while employed at other jobs, started selling a few pieces in assorted places.

Over the next 15 years, Daniel eked out a living as a writer doing, among other things, national writing and both radio and TV broadcasting for the CBC, Maclean’s (the national newsmagazine) and a wide variety of smaller publications. Interweaved throughout this period was soul-killing corporate and public relations writing.

It was through the 1960s and 1970s that he got his university experience. In his first year at the University of Calgary, he majored in psychology/mathematics; in his second year he switched to physics/mathematics. He then learned of an independent study program at the University of Lethbridge where he attended the next two years, studying philosophy and economics. In the end he attended university over nine years (four full time) but never qualified for a degree because he didn't have the right number of courses in any particular field.

In 1990 he published his first (and so far, only) book: Practical History: A guide to Will and Ariel Durant’s “The Story of Civilization” (Polymath Press, Calgary)

Newly appointed as the Deputy Executive Editor in August 2011, he has been writing exclusively for Salem-News.com since March 2009 and, as of summer 2011, has published more than 160 stories.

View articles written by Daniel Johnson




Comments Leave a comment on this story.

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Anonymous July 23, 2012 7:49 am (Pacific time)

Hey Daniel, gun ownership is totally illegal in Mexico, but they have one of the highest gun murder rates in the world. They are coming across our border having little difficulty because of Obama's policies. BTW he swore an oath to defend our country. You are quite lucky you do not have Mexico on your border. Anyway, those areas that have large concentrations of lawful gun ownership have very little gun crime, whereas those urban areas controlled by far left progressives have the high crime rates, ergo, gun wound trauma is off the scale. As long as we have this incredible division going on, coupled with gangs, we lawful gun owners will be well armed and trained. So far the gangs have stayed away from us, and when they begin to encroach, which they are beginning to this summer, then we will have some serious law enforcement happening. As it is this shooting in Colorado is quite rare, and because it's by a white person it gets massive coverage. The daily murder rate in our urban locations literally dwarf the above-referenced shooting on a "daily" level. But since it's not by whites, and because it's in political democratic locations, very little national/international coverage. We gunowners know the truth, and we are quite immune to false and misleading info from the left.Because it's an election year, a few far left people in congress will try to put up some contrived bills, but nothing will happen. If Obama is re-elected, and the dems take over congress and the Supreme Court, still nothing will change. You must understand that we will never allow a government to take away our rights, the 2nd Amendment is not a law.

A study in the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery found that the gun murder rate in the U.S. is almost 20 times higher than the next 22 richest and most populous nations combined. 

Anonymous July 22, 2012 6:42 pm (Pacific time)

Daniel, every movement that seeks to enslave a country, every dictatorship or potential dictatorship, needs some minority group as a scapegoat which it can blame for the nation's troubles and use as a justification of its own demands for dictatorial powers. There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power government has is the power to crack down on criminals. When there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. America’s abundance was created not by public sacrifices to 'the common good,' but by the productive genius of free men who pursued their own personal interests and the making of their own private fortunes. They did not starve the people to pay for America’s industrialization. They gave the people better jobs, higher wages and cheaper goods with every new machine they invented, with every scientific discovery or technological advance—and thus the whole country was moving forward and profiting, not suffering, every step of the way. We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force.

You've really sucked back the Kool Aid, haven't you? 

July 22, 2012 9:44 am (Pacific time)

Daniel your statement: "Question for you: How is it that all the other highly developed Western nations can live without guns if they are so important? Most of those societies have much less violence overall, than the US, have longer life expectancies for its citizens, everyone having medical coverage,lower poverty rates, etc?"... is a simplification and demonstrates a lack of understanding of our so-called multi-cultural dynamics. 

Okay, explain it to me without going into the apparent faults and failings of other  countries, please. 

A study in the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery found that the gun murder rate in the U.S. is almost 20 times higher than the next 22 richest and most populous nations combined. 

Anonymous July 21, 2012 10:12 pm (Pacific time)

this is a copy/paste, tired, going to bed. :-) Sadly, many incidents of violence and/or suicide have been linked to adolescents taking prescription antidepressants. •Eric Harris, the triggerman in the Columbine school shootings, killed his fellow students and took his own life while taking Luvox. •Thirteen year-old Chris Fetters killed his favorite aunt while taking Prozac. •Twelve year-old Christopher Pittman murdered both his grandparents while taking Zoloft. •Thirteen year-old Mathew Miller hung himself in his bedroom closet after taking Zoloft for 6 days. •Fifteen year-old Jarred Viktor stabbed his grandmother 61 times after 5 days on Paxil. •This are just a few examples of antidepressant violence. The list goes on and on... Fifteen year old Kip Kinkel (Prozac and RITALIN) shot his parents while they slept then went to school and opened fire killing 2 classmates and injuring 22 shortly after beginning Prozac treatment. nite all, and good to see ya back daniel, i missed ya.

July 21, 2012 3:01 pm (Pacific time)

  Thanks for clearing up the comment that was by Roger Ebert. In regards to your other questions, thats a long debate that goes quite deep. I think you know my stance on those questions. Rotchchilds/queen/vatican/DC/etc.  I totally disagree with you on your last comment, but ah well, thats what makes the world go round yeah??  Anyway, Hey, how about a song?..and here I thought "I" was the greatest guitarist in the world..:-)

Anonymous July 21, 2012 1:00 pm (Pacific time)

Thanks for the link Daniel I missed that one. The reason I brought it up is because of what you wrote: "because the issue has become so closely linked to paranoid fantasies" etc.
It is of my opinion, that you should not answer this post by me, but write another article and explain further what you meant. From what you believe your own self, I do not feel I am paranoid fantasy, I feel the truth.
The western world ignores the 911 truth, and I am supposed to let them disarm me? Not sure what kind of logic that is, with all due respect. The corporations/bankers own the government, and the government makes the laws.Are you getting this now?
Research history, every time a people are forced to disarm, sooner or later, usually sooner, dictatorship, tyranny, and massive deaths take place. Mao, Stalin, Hitler, etc etc,.
I got all my farm chores done early this morning and just enjoying writing, here is more: And, on another note more closely related to the article, I wont mention them of course, but I could think of a dozen ways to take out a mall or movie theatre that would be easier and cheaper, and more destructive than using a firearm, and with an 80% chance of not getting caught even. Something to think about. And there are people much smarter than me in this area. I am more the Ghandi type, but I am not dumb either. The obama admin just let out about 40,000 high power weapons, most went to Mexico, but many made it back to drug gangs here in the U.S. Maybe we should outlaw politicians :-) We should also outlaw pharma drugs especially prozac/oxycotin/etc. It seems they are the cause of these catastrophes more than the firearms are. I only have a bit of research on the Toronto shooting, but it looks like a drug gang initiation or payback?
Think about the hundreds of billions of dollars on the drug war for two decades. Drugs still run rampant in criminal hands. In fact, the cheap potent heroin hitting the west comes from Afghanistan, where the marines have been ordered to guard the opium fields. Banning guns will do nothing but give criminals all the guns, and they will wreak havoc on the good people who are unarmed.(Toronto is a good example, and it will get worse)And to the other anon, people who have a concealed carry license do not just start shooting frantically as you mentioned, it has NEVER happened, whereas, if you do your research, you will find thousands of times, those with conceal handgun license stopped crime, something the media wont talk about.. All the police do is bring body bags and a police report after the crime has been committed.
Daniel is correct tho, they will never ban guns in the U.S. Out of 300+ million, 80 million will probably give up their firearms, but there are about 10-20 million (maybe more)that will give their life, and are highly armed and trained that will not, and they know this.
Keep in mind, this might be something Daniel does not know, but obama is supporting the u.n. gun ban about to be approved in a couple weeks, but there are holdouts in the Senate. are these lastest incidents coincidences?
And by the way..leave santa clause alone! He brought me a shiny bike one year. There was no way the bike would fit down the chimney, so he must have kept it in the box and spent all night building it.
And my dad having cookie crumbles on his housecoat, and a milk mustache was just a coincidence :-)
Sorry, just a little Saturday humor

I didn't write that quote. It was Roger Ebert.

Question for you: How is it that all the other highly developed Western nations can live without guns if they are so important? Most of those societies have much less violence overall, than the US, have longer life expectancies for its citizens, everyone having medical coverage,lower poverty rates, etc?

Anonymous July 21, 2012 11:30 am (Pacific time)

CIA being second on the list? And how did such a small country in the middle east pull this off? Is the mossad that much smarter than the CIA, the U.S. military industrial complex, interpol?
And if so, why no mossad accusations from those such as bush, clinton, holder, obama, senate, congress etc? Why are the leaders of Canada supporting israel to such a major extent?
By the way Daniel, even with our ups and downs, I did not see an article from you for awhile and I actually kinda missed ya :-)
I am not going off topic from your original article, humor me for now :-)

Here's my 911 piece from only six weeks ago. http://www.salem-news.com/articles/may292012/911_dj.php

Anonymous July 21, 2012 10:21 am (Pacific time)

Hey again Daniel..Do you have any theories who may have been mostly responsible for 911?

Top of the list of suspects would be the Mossad. 

Anonymous July 21, 2012 7:19 am (Pacific time)

Hey Daniel, maybe you have already given your opinion and I missed it, but do you think the official story in regards to 911 is true?

Sort of like Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy. 

Anonymous July 20, 2012 7:40 pm (Pacific time)

Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates said that the suspect, James Holmes, had legally purchased four guns in the last 60 days from two gun shops. Mr. Holmes also legally bought more than 6,000 rounds of ammunition on the Internet, Mr. Oates said.

America: Land of the free, home of  the brave!!! 

Anonymous July 20, 2012 6:20 pm (Pacific time)

My prayers go for the Democratic Party, including President Obama, to make a campaign plank to find a way to ask the voters to give up all firearms, except those that law abiding citizens can use for self-defense and all other legal activities. I am positive that the millions of firearms owned by the criminal element will quickly turn in their illegally possessed firearms. Especially the Mexican drug cartel people who are in the states illegally by the tens of thousands. In the meantime those rich liberals like New Your City mayor Bloomberg, and sentors like Feinstein, Kerry, Schumer, etc., can keep their well-armed guards. Should allow them to reap a bonanza of votes. So go for it Democrats, show us your leadership skills. But try to do better than you senators not putting together a budget for 3 and 1/2 years now. Be sure to attempt to obfuscate FBI gun data that where you have more legally owned guns you have less gun crime, and as bad as this Batman shooting was, Chicago, where the leadership continues to ignore the Supreme Court on reducing onerous gun laws, they average nearly 300 gun kills and wounded per month. Why does the media ignore that place, and other high murder rates in urban areas? Ummmm

Anonymous July 20, 2012 6:01 pm (Pacific time)

What I've read in more than one other place is: Why weren't there any armed people in the audience?

Those who make that comment don't realize how crazy they sound. It was a darkened theater (not even considering the smoke) and you have a bunch of vigilantes firing their guns--shooting innocent bystanders, each other and, maybe if they were lucky, the gunman.

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