Three perpetrators. One hundred thirty four dead.
Survivors who will never be the same. After these horrifying massacres there has been a demand for gun control within the country. The gun laws in Florida, Nevada and Texas are very similar with their lack of requirements to possess a gun. A lot of people will blame the rise of gun violence in the country on the inadequacy of mental health resources for those who suffer from psychiatric illnesses. November 5, 2017 is a day that many people will never forget. According to CNN, Devin Kelley opened fire in a Sutherland Springs church located in Texas killing twenty six civilians ranging from five to seventy two years old. Kestler-D’Amours (2017), “According to a notice of claim filed by the parents of a victim The US government bodies failed to report the shooter’s arrest, conviction and discharge from the air force to a federal database used in background checks when buying firearms.” Kelley had a history of mental illness, according to NBC news, “as stated in a 2012 police report he escaped from a mental health hospital during his time in the Air Force.
He was admitted to Peak Behavioral Health Services after he was accused of assaulting his wife and fracturing his infant stepsons skull. He was known as a danger to himself and others as he was caught sneaking firearms into the facility. When approached, other patients had reported that he had seemed suspicious when using a computer that was allowed to be used for things such as paying bills. After examination of the computers it was brought forth that he had been ordering weapons, tactical gear and magazines to a P.
O. Box in San Antonio.” (2017) According to BBC news, “Omar Mateen opened fire inside of a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Fifty were killed and fifty three were injured. 911 calls were made shortly before the shooting in which he had stated his allegiance to islamic state, which made police unsure if this attack was a case of domestic or international terrorism. Mateen had worked for a large security company that allowed him a license for concealed carry and to work as a security guard.
The company he was employed by stated ‘he would have carried a gun as a part of his job.’ In 2007 and 2013 he had undergone background checks and was cleared. It was also stated that ‘Mateen had previously used gay dating apps and was a regular at the nightclub where the massacre occured.’ ” (2016) In defense for his son, Seddique Mir Mateen stated that “the attack had nothing to do with religion, he had become angry when he saw a gay couple kissing in downtown Miami.” (2016) In regards to an abuse history, his ex-wife stated that “he was mentally ill and unstable” and that he had “beat her regularly and cut her off from her family in the four months that they spent together.” (2016) As 22,000 country music lovers from all around the country flocked to the annual Route 91 Harvest on the Las Vegas strip, none of them knew that their lives would be turned upside down in a matter of hours. According to CNN, at about 10:08 pm Sunday, October 1, 2017 Stephen Paddock opened fire into the crowd from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, several hundred feet of the concert grounds. After the first 911 call came in, Paddock fired for about nine to eleven minutes, he also set up cameras inside his hotel suite and in the hallway.
Terrorism was ruled out in this shooting, as there is no evidence that he had ties with terrorists. Police say they are unsure of his motive, and the FBI says ‘we had no knowledge of this individual.'” (2017) Eric Paddock, Stephen’s brother stated “his brother had never shown violent tendencies, and had no affiliations with any terror or hate group.” According to the FBI, “Stephen Paddock’s father was a convicted bank robber who was on the FBI’s most wanted list, from June 10, 1969, until May 5, 1977.” (2017) Growing up in a household like this could have affected Stephen Paddock in a way that nobody knew about, but himself. This was not the only reason contributing to the incident that he carried out, but from personal experience, growing up in a split household is very difficult and can very easily affect the way a person grows up and learns right from wrong. When one thinks of a mass murderer, they often think of the boy who always misbehaved throughout school, and often got himself into legal trouble and had violent outbursts sporadically.
As research shows, this is not always true, Friedman (2017) “It is true that many mass murderers do have a mental disorder, typically a severe personality disorder or a psychotic illness.” (p. A23(L) Just because they know that they have a mental disorder doesn’t always mean that they want to come to terms with it or even get help. As stated by Friedman (2017) “Of the ninety two documented mass killings from 1982 to 2017, only fifteen percent of the perpetrators had any known previous contact with mental health professionals. Clearly, whatever psychiatric evaluation and treatment this small number of perpetrators had did not stop them from committing mass murder… as a general matter it is very difficult, if not impossible, to predict who is likely to turn violent… Even if you were to eliminate all psychiatric illness from the population, the rate of violence would drop by only about 4 percent.” (p.
A23(L) This statement supports the idea that essentially anybody could commit a mass murder, even if they don’t have a history with any sort of psychiatric illness. If someone wants to commit a murder bad enough, they will find a way to do it as these three men did. All of these massacres are different, they unfolded variously, but allied in each incident was a gun of some sort. Gun laws in this country aren’t systematic, which makes the control of them that much harder.
Gun laws in Florida are more secure than that of Nevada and Texas. According to the NRA-ILA, in Florida “a permit is not required to carry, but a permit to conceal is necessary.” This law allows a person to have a gun on them for others to visualize without a permit, but it is mandatory that one has a permit to have it on their personnel, but not for others to visualize.
There is also a “three day waiting period to purchase a handgun from any licensed firearm dealer, but the waiting period is waived for anybody that possess a concealed weapon permit or they are trading in another handgun.” (2014) As Mateen had a license for concealed carry, this wouldn’t of barred him from purchasing any sort of firearm, whereas he also had no criminal background that anyone was aware of. Nevada’s gun laws aren’t as rigorous as Florida. “Concealed weapon permits are shall issue and open carry is legal without a permit. Nevada does not ban ‘assault weapons’ and there is no magazine capacity limit. Purchase permits, gun registration and gun-owner licensing is not vital. There is no waiting period mandated for firearm purchases and private gun sales are okay.” (2015) Stephen Paddock didn’t have a history with violence, thus causing the purchase of these guns to be so easy.
As most of them were bought legally in California, “Carrying a handgun concealed within a vehicle is prohibited without a license. It is unlawful to offer for manufacture, sale, give or lend any ‘assault weapon’ or .50 caliber BMG rifle.” (2014) “In Texas there is no special license to purchase or carry a gun.
A law passed in 2015 allows those with a permit to carry a handgun openly. Gun owners can keep their firearms in their home, vehicle, and place of employment (if allowed) however, if the gun is taken out of these areas, a permit is required. If convicted of a felony, restriction of gun sales is then set in motion.” (2014) Devin Patrick Kelley should have never been allowed to purchase a firearm in any state. He was allowed to purchase the firearm that he then used to carry out this massacre because of failure in the US government when they failed to report to a federal database used in background checks when buying firearms.
These three traumatic annihilations were unavoidable in many ways. These men took the lives of so many innocent people for fame that they would not be around to see. They left millions of people in distraught with the loss of loved ones, or fear for their own lives as they were not sure if they would make it out of these horrific murders alive. The people who did survive, may feel they would have been better off passing as they probably suffer from PTSD, clinical depression, agoraphobia, ADHD, as well as any physical hurdles they may come across. Gun violence in this country is on the rise and it is a very serious topic that should be addressed more frequently, more secure, and gun laws should be uniform across the country.