Another day, another shooting
Yet another shooting occurred Jan. 19, this one in Albuquerque, 2,000 miles away from Newtown, Conn. The two shootings have eerie similarities.
As in Newtown just five weeks ago, the shooter in Albuquerque was a young man, this time a 15-year-old boy now in custody.
As in Newtown, the shooter’s first victim was his mother; according to news accounts, she was shot as she slept.
The Albuquerque shooter, armed with multiple weapons, also shot three siblings, according to reports. A few hours later, he shot his father before loading up a van with weapons with the intention of driving to a Walmart for more killings. Published reports say that outcome was averted by a friend who talked him out of it. While police have not yet released who owned the guns in Albuquerque, reports indicate there were several guns in the home, including a semiautomatic assault-style rifle.
In the weeks since the Newtown shootings, both President Barack Obama and Gov. Jack Markell called for new initiatives to combat gun violence.
Based on recommendations of Vice President Joe Biden, Obama proposed what he called common-sense measures that have the support of the American people, including a ban on assault-style weapons and high-capacity clips. In Delaware, Markell proposed similar measures, also banning the sale of military assault-style weapons.
Just when football championships and inaugural fanfare were pushing the Newtown slayings off the front pages of the nation’s newspapers, this new Albuquerque tragedy forces the issue of gun violence back to the forefront.
The reported use of military-style assault weapons in every one of the mass shootings in the United States since 1982 should be reason enough to ban them. Even avid hunters have joined the call to ban the sale of these weapons.
But just as critical is the necessity for better mental health screenings and services for everyone, a topic barely touched on by either the president or the governor.
Guards at every school may become a necessity, but highly skilled mental health professionals in every school would do a lot more to reduce violence and make our communities safer places for everyone.