Thursday night’s fatal shooting at a theater in Lafayette, Louisiana so far claimed two lives, while a multiple homicide by stabbing in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma left five dead Wednesday, and it doesn’t take a genius to guess which case will get the bigger headlines.
The Lafayette shooting was apparently committed by a “drifter” identified as John Russell Houser from Alabama. He had been staying at a motel, where police “found wigs, glasses and disguises” and his car had a switched license plate. What does that suggest? Authorities have suggested he initially planned to escape but was turned back from the fleeing crowd when he saw police arrive.
Houser killed himself with the last shot fired. Friday morning’s press conference revealed he fired 13 rounds from a .40-caliber pistol. The Associated Press and Seattle Times reported later Friday that the handgun was legally purchased by Houser at a pawnshop in Phenix City, Alabama last year. The story quoted Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft, and ignited more than 180 comments in the Seattle Times’ reader section.
Meanwhile, in Broken Arrow two teenage brothers are in custody in connection with the slayings of their parents and three siblings, according to NBC News. That grisly crime involved several different weapons, the report said, including a hatchet and knives.
Will Barack Obama exploit Lafayette? It happened just hours after he told the BBC that “If you ask me where has been the one area that I feel that I’ve been most frustrated and most stymied, it is the fact that the United States is the one advanced nation on earth in which we do not have sufficient, common-sense gun safety laws.” This is just one more indication that the president is trying every strategy to erode the Second Amendment in his final months in office, something the Second Amendment Foundation’s “second generation” noted yesterday in a press release.
The victims in Lafayette have been identified as 21-year-old Mayci Breaux and 33-year-old Jillian Johnson. It is becoming distressing to hear reports from various news agencies that there are “three dead, including the shooter.” Whatever else Houser may have been, he’s not a victim of last night’s shooting, and his suicide was not part of the tragedy, but more on the order of a public service, some Second Amendment activists might suggest.
Newsbusters reported this morning that it took CNN Tonight only 12 minutes into its coverage of the Lafayette shooting to “invoke gun control and President Obama with panelists lamenting the lack of ‘sufficient common sense’ on guns, the need for a ‘more realistic in a interpretation of the Second Amendment’ and that the issue will go down in history as President Obama’s ‘biggest defeat’.”
What is a “realistic interpretation of the Second Amendment?” How about the way it has been defined by the U.S. Supreme Court in both the Heller and McDonald rulings? An individual fundamental civil right to keep and bear arms that goes beyond, and is not limited to, service in a militia; the Second Amendment means what it says.
How soon will Everytown for Gun Safety, the lobbying group bankrolled by anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg, exploit Lafayette? It has already been mentioned in an e-mail message from the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility, along with the Charleston church shooting and Chattanooga.
And now a poll is running that asks “Do you think people should be allowed to carry guns in public?” So far, the sentiment appears to overwhelmingly favor armed citizens. Inevitably, there will be an argument over whether Houser might have been stopped if someone else in the theater had been armed.
The Oklahoma family stabbing will probably fade into the background. That’s because the debate is not about crime or public safety, it’s about guns and gutting the Second Amendment.
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