Q&A – After Two More Horrific Shootings, Now What

Today’s entry - I have been reading tweets and they make my heart break for the people affected. Politicians jumping on board to make this about their campaigns or a hit against people they don’t like. It’s gross. Did the El Paso shooter know the Garlic shooter online?

Bottom Line: 22 and 125. Those are the number of mass shootings and those killed the US this year after the horrific attacks in El Paso and Dayton this weekend. I agree with the sentiment expressed in the tweet but at the same time, I’d like to use the question to illustrate a larger point. The directly answer the questions, no. 

Based on what we know of the El Paso shooter and the Gilroy shooter there weren’t overlapping circles. The El Paso shooter was active in the white supremacist orientated online forum 8Chan and left a clearly racist “manifesto” outlining his desire to act against what he called the “Hispanic invasion of Texas”. In the case of the Gilroy California shooter, explicit content wasn’t provided by the shooter indicating the same degree of animus. He had previously recommended texts that contained racist and satanic content but wasn’t publishing his own content. As of now, the FBI hasn’t concluded that the Gilroy shooter was racially motivated. These situations are different still when looking at the attack in Dayton, Ohio. 

We can analyze these situations and come up with specific catalysts for what led each attacker to kill but then what? What’s more, is that there appears to have been a remarkably efficient law enforcement response in each of these three most recent shootings, or else there’s no telling how bad it would have been. 

Yes, sadly every major tragedy is politicized. I do think it’s wrong to seek political opportunity out of these events. At the same time, those who call out the politicking but then don’t meaningfully seek solutions aren’t on the moral or practical high-ground either. Over the past couple of years, I’ve looked at this topic from every angle possible. Including gun control, hate, mental health, and religion. I’ve concluded that there’s a need to address every issue to some degree or we'll get more of the same. Regardless of what you think should or shouldn’t happen, ask yourself these two questions. Do you think this will continue to happen if nothing changes? Do you think that’s acceptable?  

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Email: brianmudd@iheartmedia.com

Twitter: @brianmuddradio

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Photo by: Getty Images

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