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Check All the Boxes
2022-05-18

            Last week's news of the horrific murders in Buffalo was devastating.  Thirteen people were shot and 10 killed.  Those who died were Black.  The shooter is in custody and federal officials are investigating it as a hate crime, among other charges.

            Given the history of the accused, the words he blurted out while committing the heinous carnage, and the 180-page racist manifesto he posted online before the attacks, it should be a short investigation.

            And, in Washington, DC, they are playing the blame game.  There was one shooter, identified by witnesses, and caught on camera.  He is to blame.  What should be investigated, in-depth, is why he did it.  What were the triggers?  Why didn't his past problems set off alarms that may have kept a weapon from his hands?  "Why?" is like an octopus with appendages.  Answering one could lead to another "why?" that needs to be investigated.  You need to keep going until they're all answered.  Preliminary thoughts are not final conclusions.

            Just last week, there were two other shootings that could have resulted in more mass shootings but thankfully didn't.  In Brooklyn, New York, a career criminal opened fire on a crowded intersection with a rifle and sent more than 20 people running for cover.  No one was injured in that attack, and he was caught on video committing the crime.

            That shooter had a history of emotional disturbance and was recommended for psychiatric evaluation after his most recent arrest.  He was also out of state prison, on parole until 2025 after serving time for a 2017 robbery.  He also had a lengthy rap sheet, including arrests for attempted criminally negligent homicide, attempted assault, reckless endangerment, multiple gun charges and more.  There was also an open bench warrant for his arrest stemming from charges of assault and criminal possession of a weapon last year.

            He was arrested a few blocks later after fleeing the scene.

            In Laguna Beach, California, a gunman entered a Taiwanese church, attended a lunch honoring a local pastor, then chained the doors shut, and carried out a deadly shooting.  He began to hammer nails into some doors to secure them.  He also, reportedly, put super-glue in the keyholes. The shooter was armed with two handguns and had hidden firebombs.

            He fired a shot and was tackled by a local doctor trying to stop him.  The doctor was killed during the skirmish, but his action allowed other churchgoers to subdue the shooter. 

            According to reports, the gunman had documented his hatred toward Taiwan.  His family was among those forcibly removed from mainland China to Taiwan after 1948.

            All three are tragedies of differing degrees that occurred during the same week.

            Before we can attempt to put a stop to the carnage, we need to know not only why the perpetrators committed the crimes, but why they were motivated to this level of hate.

            We know who, and who will be punished.  We need to know definitively why and all the levels of it.  

            Motives can run deep and are rarely a single-point answer.

            Officials must check all the boxes and have all the questions answered before they point their fingers at persons other than the one pulling the trigger.


 

 

 

 

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