It wouldn’t be an American holiday weekend without a mass shooting. Sadly, this is the truth. Over the long weekend, a gunman killed seven people and wounded 23 after he opened fire in a seemingly random rampage in Texas. Police are still investigating the shooting and looking for a motive, but details about the gunman have been released, and a lot of them point to the fact that enforcing stricter gun laws could have helped prevent this tragedy from occurring, if you can believe. Here’s what we know.
He had failed a background check
Texas Govener Greg Abbott tweeted that the gunman had previously failed a background check, and didn’t go through a background check for the gun he used in the mass shooting. John Wester, an agent with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, confirmed the gunman had previously failed a federal background check for a firearm. Details about when this background check was and how exactly the gunman obtained his weapon for the shooting have not been revealed.
The House of Representatives has already passed a bill to expand background checks — something that 93 percent of Americans favor (including 89 percent of Republicans). But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has refused to bring the bill to a vote in the Senate.
He had a record
The gunman was arrested for a misdemeanor in 2001, according to online records. It is important to note that a misdemeanor would not prevent him from being able to purchase a gun.
People were afraid of him
In an interview with the Associated Press, the gunman’s neighbor, Rocio Gutierrez said that he was a “violent and aggressive person” who would shoot at rabbits at all hours of the night. Cute. Gutierrez added, “We were afraid of him because you could tell what kind of person he was just by looking at him. He was not nice, he was not friendly, he was not polite.” A family friend of his, who asked to remain unnamed, told the New York Times that he had a history of mental issues, trouble with the law, and making racist comments. They said, “The man should have never had a gun near his hand ever.” AGREED.
He made troubling calls to the police and FBI
The morning of the shooting, the gunman was fired from his trucking job. He and his boss both made calls to the police, apparently making complaints about the other over the firing. The police showed up to the gunman’s place of work, but he had taken off by the time they got there. The gunman also made a call to the FBI tip line to make “rambling statements about some of the atrocities that he felt that he had gone through,” according to FBI special agent Christopher Combs. Apparently, no violent threats were made.
He used and “AR style” weapon
The exact model of the firearm has not been given, but has been described as an “AR style” weapon. Surprise, surprise…
The gunman has been named as Seth A. Ator. He opened fire on troopers after being pulled over for failing to use a turn signal in Midland, Texas. He then proceeded to go on a shooting spree, hijack a postal service van, and carry out his massacre. This sh*t needs to stop. The definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Doing nothing about gun laws in this country is literally crazy.