Fairfax Man Kills Wife, Son in Murder-Suicide, Police Say
By Jonathan MummoloWashington Post Staff Writer Tuesday, December 9, 2008; 4:31 PM
An 81-year-old Vienna area man shot and killed his wife and middle-aged son in their home before turning the gun on himself, Fairfax County police said today.
Thomas K. Appleberry killed his wife, Rachel, 81, and son, Thomas Jr., in an apparent domestic dispute, and police discovered their bodies this morning.
Police responded to the family's home in the 9600 block of Cinnamon Creek Drive after receiving a call at 9:22 a.m. from the shooter's daughter, who reported finding a body in the house.
"Preliminarily, it appears this is a family tragedy and that's how we're investigating it," police spokeswoman Lucy Caldwell said.
All three victims sustained gunshot wounds to the upper part of their bodies, and autopsies are pending, police said.
The slayings bring the county's homicide total to 20 so far this year and follow a triple homicide last month in which three men were fatally stabbed in the Ravensworth Farm neighborhood.
It is still unclear exactly what the statistics show in terms of how many times guns are used in circumstances like this versus self-defense instances.
In this case, a person who otherwise wasn't a criminal is able to do immense and permanent damage with a gun. It would take much more depravity, anger, and a level of being out of control to do this much damage with other weapons such as a knife or something else.
Guns are too quick, too simple, too deadly.
People with guns can turn an argument into a deadly crime scene without fully thinking, and without the victims having a real chance to defend themselves.
I do understand and respect that there are other circumstances where people use guns to protect themselves from danger.
The question is which is more prevalent? Use of a gun to protect one's self? or Use of a gun to hurt one's self and others we are intimately familiar with?
It's important to know because we should make policy based on facts and public safety not emotions and ideology.
This is difficult because mostly people who have a point of view are the ones interested and actually conducting the research. Statistics and science are so easily manipulated that each time a new paper is released it appears their side is correct.
Until I can find evidence I"m going to try to use my common sense. It seems to me there are many more normal circumstances that can be escalated into dangerous situations by one or more persons with a gun, than there are people being attacked who can/would protect themselves. In addition, we can do many things to control crime and make our country more safe from criminals.
I support common sense gun control for the safety of the American people.
making the word "liberal" safe again!