Why Did Louisiana Theatre Shooter Have Weapons?


Once again a most awful shooting makes for headlines.  We have to ask what is wrong with Americans who seemingly have no sense to figure out the fact we have too many guns, too few tough gun restrictions, and too few capable leaders who will demand we make changes.

The gun massacre in Louisiana yesterday was one of those; a man with a handgun that was designed only to kill, killing helpless people in a movie theatre. Once again, it seems essential to give the young victims faces—Mayci Breaux, who was just twenty-one, and Jillian Johnson, who was thirty-three. Once more, one has the heart-breaking duty of imagining them dead on a night when they thought only of a small and silly pleasure.

Once again, someone for whom possessing a semi-automatic .40-calibre handgun ought to have been made hugely difficult was able to get his hands on one, with results we know and that, given his history, might have been predictable. Within hours of the killings, we found out that the killer was, well, not the first man you’d want in line for a weapon. As recently as 2008, the AP reports, the killer’s family petitioned a court to have him involuntarily committed “because he was a danger to himself and others.” Apparently, his wife took the guns out of their home when he “exhibited extreme erratic behavior” and made “disturbing statements.” Just the man who ought to have a semi-automatic pistol—the simple kind of gun-control laws that exist in almost every other developed country, which make it hard to get your hands on a gun, particularly when you have any history of mental illness, would likely have kept those two young people alive.

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