BA on Assignment

June 1, 2022

Guns… AGAIN!

Why am I writing about this yet again?

DATELINE BUFFALO, NEW YORK – May 14, 2022 – Saturday
Ten Black people were killed in a Tops supermarket in a predominantly Black part of town by a white gunman who professed his intent to kill as many Black people as possible in a 180 page manifesto. The shooter used an assault rifle. The shooter had a mental health evaluation one year prior and was deemed not a risk.

DATELINE UVALDE, TEXAS – May 24, 2022 – Tuesday
19 grade school children and two adults were killed in an elementary school by a gunman with no apparent motive. Authorities speculate that the shooter suffered from mental illness. The shooter used an assault rifle and had a back up.

We’re currently experiencing a shortage of baby formula at retail…
NBA Basketball player Damion Lee said:
“We need to reform that… guns shouldn’t be as easily accessible – it’s easier to get a gun than baby formula right now…”

Bette Midler posted on Twitter:
[If a child is hitting people with a stick, I would blame the child, not the stick. However, I would still take the stick away.]

Senator Marco Rubio of Florida said the issue of mass shootings is one of mental illness. He suggested that restrictions on guns would not have prevented the shooting in Buffalo.

The shooter is an 18-years-old white male. If the age to buy any gun was 21, he may not have been able to purchase the assault rifles, the shooting may not have happened. Deterrents reduce risk…

There have been a lot of comparisons on age regulations:
21 to buy beer, wine and alcohol in most states
21 to buy lottery tickets in most states
21 to buy cigarettes

There are states that require a person to be 21 to buy a hand gun, but 18 to buy an assault rifle. This is a valid argument. Age restrictions don’t deprive anyone of their constitutional rights. There’s room for uniformity…

The Republican position:
No federal regulations/Preserve the second amendment
Focus on addressing mental health
No changes to age requirements
No ban on any guns

The Democrats position:
Modern interpretation of the second amendment
Mental health evaluations where suspected
Raise age to purchase all firearms to 21
Red flag laws and enhanced background checks
Full ban on assault rifles
Gun buy backs/confiscate guns from risky users
Addressing the issue of mental illness:

The shooter in Buffalo was identified as a potential threat based on comments he made on social media. This was a year prior. He was given a psychiatric evaluation and was deemed, not a threat.

The shooter claims he waited hours for an evaluation that took 15 minutes. He also boasted that he, “Got out of it because he stuck with the story that he was getting out of class…”. This means an 18-year-old high school student – in an effort to skip class and ultimately kill innocent bystanders – easily fooled adults qualified in mental health evaluation…
Sometimes, people can’t be controlled. Guns can be controlled.
More room for uniformity as well as a review of the criteria necessary to determine risk.

This is information and it’s only the tip of an iceberg. There are so many more conversations to be had. There are so many more options to be considered and we need to be able to count on our lawmakers to have those discussions and make the responsible decisions that ultimately save lives.

When Timothy McVeigh bombed the federal building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995, it was because he was disgruntled with the U. S. Government…
When Dylan Roof walked into a church in Charleston, South Carolina on June 17, 2005 and killed nine Black people, it was because of racial hatred in support of white supremacy…. Like the shooter in Buffalo…

It is not a stretch to be at a loss to figure out why a person – any person – would want to kill 10 and 11-year-olds. No matter the side of the aisle you sit, it is difficult to pinpoint a motive for killing 4th and 5th graders.

Many, many people have remarked that after Sandy Hook in 2014, they thought there would be change. Real reform. Those same people today go on to remark with skepticism after Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

Things to remember:

Be cautious not complacent
Be responsible

I hope I never have to write about this again.