*A little more than a week ago, Robert Lewis Dear apparently targeted a Planned Parenthood and executed a plan to kill multiple people.
A little less than a week ago, Tashfeen Malik and Syed Rizwan Farook apparently targeted Farook’s workplace as the place to execute a plan to kill multiple people.
What’s the difference between these two incidents?
Well, for one thing Malik and Farook were clearly more successful in that they killed more people. On the other hand Dear was clearly more successful in that he’s still alive.
Some will say that the ability of these three people to secure enough weapons to carry out these attacks is proof that it is too easy to get your hands on a gun (or several). Others will say that the ability of other armed people was the only thing that ultimately stopped the rampages.
It has been claimed that Dear was fundamentalist believer and that his sincere beliefs inspired him to exact vengeance on people he perceived to be morally repugnant. Malik and Farook are currently being investigated posthumously to determine to what degree they had been become radical Muslims; ISIS has claimed to have had the couple’s support.
Everyone will point to these shootings as indicative of what’s wrong with our country – but with different rationale.
I have written about gun violence and the problem with theocracy in the past so I won’t dive back into my positions on those things. But if we can all agree that no one should go around shooting others (we can agree on that, right) then why is it taking so long to take preventative measures. I understand that liberals and conservatives believe the correct solution are two very different things. But I cannot understand why neither side is willing to try the other side’s ideas. When faced with a potentially lethal threat it is justifiable to take in information and consider options. But there needs to be an action step taken at some point. For our elected officials to still be in the bickering stage with this issue is unacceptable. Because the more they bicker the less they act to prevent the next mass shooting from happening.
Beyond the details of these two situations is the obvious fact that people are shooting and killing other people. We must do better at stopping these events.
Trevor Brookins is a free lance writer in Rockland County, New York. He is currently working on a book about American culture during the Cold War. His writing has appeared in The Journal News. You can reach him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @historictrev.