Firearms and shootings part 3

I had thought it was long enough after the April 2014 shooting at Fort Hood to explain my support for the Second Amendment and the right to self-defense.  But this past weekend there was another shooting at a college in Santa Barbara, California, another gun free zone.  This time the shooter stabbed three to death, shot three to death and took his own life with his gun.  So, out of respect for the dead in Santa Barbra, California.   I will refrain from writing an opinion piece about this until at least six weeks have passed.

Here’s some of what we know about the shooter and how he grew up.  His father was a second unit assistant director with Lionsgate Pictures in Hollywood.  His father and mother divorced when the shooter was 7 and he was in therapy off and on from the time he was 8, for the rest of his life.  He spent a lot of time in the virtual/video game worlds, Warcraft, I think.  He had a prescription for mood altering medications, which he may not have been taking. He made misogynistic, hate filled Youtube videos in which he pledged to kill women.  These videos may have been a result of his mental illness.  I know there’s free speech, but I think that probably crossed a line, like yelling fire in a dark, crowded theater.

The dead were mostly college students and some were also sorority members.   The college in Santa Barbara cancelled classes yesterday and held a memorial service for the six dead students in packed football stadium.  They had their whole lives in front of them and now all that potential has been stolen from them, from their families, from their loved ones, from their friends.

One of the fathers of the dead, who is a defense attorney, has refused public sympathy and called for gun control.  Perhaps this is how he grieves.  I haven’t read any statements from the other parents yet.

This a case of someone who was mentally ill, like the Navy Yard shooter Connecticut elementary school shooter,  and Colorado theater shooter, who snapped and then used weapons, including guns and knives, in a horrific act induced by the mental illness.  This was not the act of a rational, well-trained, responsible firearms owner.  This was the act of a madman.

When the time comes, there is a conversation we need to have as a country: about the value of life, about the role of faith, about a culture that celebrates thugism and sex and violence, about a culture that ignores hundreds of black on black shootings in urban centers like Chicago and loudly proclaims the white on white shootings in suburbia.  Something is deeply wrong and after some time has passed, we will begin to discuss it.

Please leave your comments of support for the dead, and their loved ones below.

Views and opinions expressed in these writings are my own, unless attributed or documented to someone else, and either way are not necessarily those of my employers.


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