This isn’t the problem. This is obviously a mental health issue that this country needs to focus on. Another part of the problem comes into play when a few encounters with law enforcement and welfare checks do not notice that the person is a firearms owner. Let’s be honest here, they keep a database of handgun owners and would have been able to pinpoint him as a current owner. We aren’t sure what content was in the videos that were posted before the last one that provoked a welfare check, but if they were remotely similar in tone (and enough to warrant a welfare check by his own parents), a discussion should have been made. But, we all know that a person posting a video is not grounds to confiscate firearms, and would infringe on 1st Amendment rights.
This is another fine line that needs to be walked, and it may have been walked perfectly.
We were not in the room when a welfare check was made and cannot speak on behalf of any officers who were involved in the checks.
All these fine lines…what do we do?
In most cases, it seems somewhat impossible to determine what an individual is thinking of doing in the future. This man’s therapists, parents and friends say that they never saw any violent tendencies with him. Then, one day, numerous people are killed after the discovery of a chilling video and manifesto. However, even after this admission of not seeing any violent tendencies, some were still concerned enough to ask police to check on him.
So, if we cannot pinpoint who the crazy people are, what do we do? If we don’t want to infringe on 1st Amendment rights (posting a video talking about murder/suicide/etc) or 2nd Amendment rights, how can we stop something like this from happening?
It shouldn’t need to be said that in life, bad things happen. What is important is that we’re ready and prepared for these things if they occur. This recent tragedy happened in a small beachfront community where “nothing bad ever happens”. It should serve as a reminder that we are not always safe, and should take our safety seriously.
This tragedy was another case of police stopping a mass shooting in progress. Had the shooter been met with an armed citizen during the rampage, it may have (would probably have) ended sooner than it did.
Where does the blame lie?
It doesn’t lie in any one place. The sooner we accept that, the closer we can get to a near-resolution. A complete resolution of violence is an impossible thing to reach.
If we were forced to place the blame on anyone, it would be the State of California and their strict gun laws. One of the strictest in the country, all of those laws on the books couldn’t stop this madman from carrying out his crimes. But why blame them? Because, it is a state that makes it next to impossible to obtain a carry permit. If more citizens are legally able to carry their firearms, this man might have been taken out after the first few shots fired.
Does it look like he cared about any laws? They don’t work. If you still believe that they do, you are ignorant to reality.
Get in on the conversation
We posted something yesterday to get some opinions on this very topic. The responses that we’ve received have been great: