Friday, November 6, 2009

Some Thoughts on the Ft Hood Shooting

I was rather speechless yesterday as I watched the media coverage of the Ft Hood mass shooting yesterday. Here's some thoughts:
  • People--from the lowest enlisted guy and civilian spouses/kids who live on base to the highest ranking officer on base--can not legally carry a personal firearm on base. Again I will say, as I always do, that the higher the possibility that anyone can be armed, the higher the possibility that these kinds of incidents can be deterred or avoided. Cases in point: numerous school shootings where the populace was unarmed have resulted in multiple deaths. A mall shooting in our state a few years back where a mall store employee was armed and responded immediately with his firearm, resulted in no deaths.
  • It is unfortunate that the shooter was a Muslim. Radical Muslims who commit such crimes, just like radical Christians who kill abortion doctors and the like, give a bad name to all who practice the religion.
  • It was unfortunate that the shooter was a medical professional. Of all people to commit such a crime, medical professionals are the people we rely on to care for us, and as they pledge, "to do no harm". Disappointing.
  • It was senseless. The people who were killed were unarmed, in what they considered a very safe environment, and were probably at the time quite worried about what they would face when they got to Iraq and Afghanistan, not worried that a comrade in arms would do this to them. Senseless.
  • It was unusual. Was joining the military a way to "infiltrate the enemy"? Of course it is all speculation at this point and the speculation is that the shooter was on the side of the Taliban/Al Quaeda/radical Muslims/etc and detested what America was doing against these groups. So he gets his complete medical education free of charge by signing up to fight on...the side of America. Weird.
  • I'm glad he lived. A slow, painful death process which gives him plenty of time to think about what he did and what will happen to him (I'm guessing a slam-dunk death sentence) seems more fair than to be shot and killed during the event. Just my opinion...
  • Again it sounds like there were some mental health issues involved in this situation as opposed to simply radical Muslim issues. In hindsight, from what has been discussed in the media, it appeared that there were a number of red flags that could point to a range of psychological disorders. Many mass shooting/individual shooting situations point back to severe psychological problems that aren't caught before the fact but that seem obvious after the fact. As much as I am supportive of pro-gun issues, I am equally supportive of the need for better mental health care which is marginal at best in our country.

This was a sad situation all the way around. My prayers go out to the families of the people killed and the people who were injured in this senseless shooting. Taking out aggression on our soldiers who don't make military policy and have no say at all on when and where America fights to protect our country, makes no sense at all.

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