Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Your Mass Shooting or Mine

            Two mass shootings in a period of thirteen hours concerns all Americans and everyone who has loved ones living in America or coming to America. The taking of one innocent life is abhorrent, and the taking of numerous innocent lives is pure evil. What causes a person – usually a male– to decide to kill a bunch of people? If we could discover the reason for the mass killings, maybe we could stop them.

            One thing that we know is that the mass killings are a relatively new phenomenon that cropped up over the past 20-30 years. When I was in high school boys would bring hunting rifles or shotguns to school in order to hunt deer or birds on the way home. There were many trucks with gun racks in the back window where everyone could see the rifles in full view. No one broke into the vehicles or committed mass killings. 

What is the difference between the young men that were my high school friends and those of today? The problem will continue until we can find the solution. However, we must have the information in order to find the answers. It does no good to hide certain information for political purposes while putting a continuous floodlight on other information. In other words, we need strict honesty in the reporting without making the killers into heroes. We can look at the two recent mass shootings to see that honesty is not one of the goals of politicians or media.

            An article by Matthew Lavietes and Steve Gorman at Reuters says that the gunman in Dayton, Ohio, “had a history of violent obsessions and previously mused about committing mass murder” according to an FBI official. Yet, “investigators have yet to conclude what motivated the killer” or even if he had someone helping him. 

Officials believe that the gunman “acted alone” and described him as “wearing body armor and a mask” when he “opened fire with an assault-style rifle fitted with a high-capacity ammunition drum that could hold 100 rounds.” It is a good thing that officers were patrolling the area and killed the gunman 30 seconds after he started to shoot.

It is a miracle that he killed “only” nine people and injured “more than two dozen others.” Besides wondering what set the gunman off, the fact that concerns me is that he killed his own sister. Was there a problem between the two of them? Did he go to the area specifically to kill her and decided to shoot a few other people? Was he “triggered” by the mass killing in El Paso, Texas, just 13 hours earlier? 

The FBI says that they have found no evidence that he was influenced by the earlier shooting spree. They have, however, learned that the shooter “had a history of obsession with violent ideations, including mass shootings, and expressed a desire to commit a mass shooting.” They do not know what particular ideation or if anyone “had any advance knowledge of his intentions to conduct this attack, and why he committed this specific act of violence.” Since he committed “suicide by cop” we most likely will never know the answers to many of our questions.

The earlier mass shooting in El Paso,Texas, is a different story. The shooter killed twenty people and injured dozens of others who ranged in age from two years old to eighty-two years old. He stopped shooting and dropped his rifle when police arrived on the scene, and the police did not fire any shots as they took him into custody. 

The shooter traveled from the Dallas-Fort Worth area to El Paso with the intent to kill Mexicans. He is being held on a capital murder charge while “federal authorities” investigate “the incident as an act of ‘domestic terrorism,’ meaning the suspect was allegedly intent on ‘coercing and intimidating a civilian population.” There is some consideration about whether to charge him with “hate crimes and federal firearms charges” that can “carry the penalty of death.”

Another thing that is different about the two shootings is the way that Democrats and media are reacting to them. Numerous Democrat presidential candidates and media talking heads immediately laid the El Paso shooting at the feet of President Donald Trump. They say that the President is to blame because the shooter allegedly said that he wanted to kill Mexicans. According to them, he is causing people to hate Mexicans and others who are invading the United States and entering the nation illegally. They do this for political points. 

The Dayton shooter, on the other hand, was a liberal who supported Elizabeth Warren. None of the Democrats want to talk about Dayton because it does not serve their political purpose. They are aided and abetted by the media that puts it focus on El Paso. In other words, the two mass shootings are treated differently because of the political views of the shooters.

            We cannot continue to blame guns for the problems of society. The shootings are just one of the symptoms of problems that need answers. We need to find those answers without losing any more freedoms. More gun control is not the answer. More laws and regulations are not the answer. We must look at the breakdown of the family and all the other parts of society that have changed over the past fifty years. What is different about the young men of today, and what can we do differently to help them adjust better in society?

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