Yesterday my home state was the latest place for a high profile mass shooting. There were actually two shooting incidents in two days in Minneapolis. But let's get to the first one. There was a work place shooting leaving 5 dead, including the shooter, and 4 critically injured:
Work place shootings are rare but happen often enough to be of concern. Check out the list of them on the linked site which does not include a few of the more recent work place shootings. The majority of these occurred in the U.S. where the term "going postal" began after a number of infamous shootings at U.S. post office facilities by disgruntled workers. Of course, whenever anyone is shot to death, it is of major concern. What makes someone so upset about being fired that their first reaction is to get their gun and shoot the person responsible for the firing? If the shooter hadn't had a gun handy, how would he have accomplished this awful killing? You just don't hear about work place knifing or poisoning or beating. It's the guns. People intent on killing a lot of people understand that a gun will do the job very well. This is the American solution to problems. Angry? Upset? Lost a job? Trouble with your marriage? Money problems? Had too much to drink and got in a fight? Mad at your neighbor? Suspicious of someone in your yard? Just grab your gun and take care of it. Simple. Fast. Deadly. More from the article:"A man who apparently had just lost his job at a small business in Minneapolis' Bryn Mawr neighborhood returned to the building Thursday afternoon and opened fire, killing the company's founder and three others and wounding four others before taking his own life.Two other company executives, director of operations John Souter and production manager Eric Rivers, were in critical condition at Hennepin County Medical Center. Hospital officials said one other victim was in critical condition and a fourth was in satisfactory condition. Those two wounded victims have not been identified."
Gov. Mark Dayton condemned "this senseless violence," adding, "There is no place for it anywhere in Minnesota. I extend my deepest condolences to the families and friends of the innocent people killed or wounded."Indeed. Senseless. And more senseless shootings in Minneapolis, also yesterday. Four people were injured when stray bullets started flying in a neighborhood and found their way into a house where innocent people were just going about their business inside:
Are we at war? More from the article:Shots fired from outside during the night at a home in north Minneapolis wounded four people, one of them a teenage boy.The incident occurred about 9:25 p.m. Wednesday at a home in the 1500 block of Queen Avenue N., said police Sgt. Stephen McCarty.Two men, a woman and a juvenile were taken to nearby North Memorial Medical Center and were expected to survive, McCarty said.No arrests have been made, and McCarty said he does not believe the public is at risk.Emma Mercer, who lives in the house, said she was taking a bath at the time of the shootings. Mercer said the victims were men ages 21 and 19, a 39-year-old woman who is related to Mercer and a 17-year-old boy.
Mercer said the group was about to leave for a concert in the Warehouse District when the shots peppered the home. She said police collected 11 bullet casings at the home, which she moved into a few months ago.
A south-facing window of the house had at least eight bullet holes, and an interior wall took at least three bullets.Eight bullet holes. Eleven bullet casings. At least three bullets in one wall. Four injured.
Where is common sense? Some days the news of shooting incidents that come "across my desk" is just overwhelming. Above, I mentioned in my list of times when people use their guns in the heat of the moment or in "self defense" shooting someone who you suspect is outside your home. When people are so paranoid and scared into getting out a gun at the least noise or suspicion, things like the next linked incident happen. A Connecticut man thought an intruder at the house next door had a shiny object in his hand so he shot him. This is a terrible tragedy because the intruder was the man's son. From the article:
More from this article:New Fairfield man fatally shot a masked teenager in self-defense, only to discover the teenager was his son.Tyler Giuliano, 15, was shot to death outside a home on Meetinghouse Hill Circle at about 1 a.m. Thursday in what appeared to be an attempted burglary. A woman in the home believed someone was trying to break in so she called her brother, Jeffrey Giuliano, who lives next door, CBS 2′s Lou Young reported.Jeffrey Giuliano charged across the lawn with his personal gun in his hand and confronted a man dressed in black and wearing a ski mask, Young reported.There appeared to be a weapon in the masked intruder’s hand, Young reported. Jeffrey Giuliano fired and the intruder fell to the ground. It was then that he realized that the person he shot and killed was his own son.
“He’s just always nice, like funny,” friend Chelsea Lopez added. “It just doesn’t make sense to me. Like I would never think he could do that. I would never picture him doing that either.”
And that’s perhaps the question police may never get an answer to: what was the 15-year-old doing at his aunt’s home and why did he lunge at his father who was carrying a gun?
The entire community appeared to be in a state of shock, CBS 2′s Young reported.
“When I first received the call, needless to say, I’ve been in office eight years and you don’t hear about such things in New Fairfield,” Hodge said. “The town is a close-knit community. It’s going to take us a while to get over.”
As a father prepares to bury his son, the events were being investigated by police. No charges were immediately filed.Of course we could do all sorts of second guessing here. It is easy to say this could have turned out differently. The boy was apparently trying to break into a nearby home- his aunt's in fact. That happens sometimes. It's someone who knows what's inside the house or just knows the house and breaks in. My son's house had a break-in during the middle of the day while he and his wife were at work. The police think it was someone in the neighborhood who knew their work patterns and knew the house. One young man in the neighborhood was even questioned but the burglar was never found, nor were the things taken ever recovered. They now have a security system and do some things differently, thanks to local law enforcement and a city employee who gave them many good suggestions. Having a gun was not one of them. How would this have ended differently had the father of the boy not brought a gun to the situation? What about calling law enforcement? Would they have thought a shiny object was a gun and shot or would they have told the boy to drop what he had and the incident would have resulted in an arrest? Would the boy have been so frightened of the police that he would have just put his hands up and cooperated with them? He would have been alive today. Since he didn't actually have a gun, he might have broken into his aunt's home and scared her but done no harm. He might have taken some things and run. Or she might have scared him by being awake and yelling and he might have run away without even being identified as her own nephew. Or the father could have not had a gun and come to stop a burglar by yelling or scaring him away somehow. Without the gun, everything would have been different. This is a terrible and senseless tragedy. It is not the only one like this, however. I have written in this blog about shooters killing their own husbands, wives, etc. in a moment of fear, suspicion or accidental discharge.
All I know is that I am seeing and writing about way too many senseless shootings and many, if not most of them, are committed by law abiding gun owners. As a country we need to do more to stop senseless shootings like the ones above. Too many people are injured and dead. Doing nothing it simply not an option. We are better than this and we need to demand a plan from our elected leaders.
It has been confirmed that the Minneapolis work place shooter had a Minnesota permit to carry:
This bears repeating: "...he's obviously been practicing how to use it" ( the gun). And yet another law abiding gun permit holder shooting people. Hmmm. I thought these folks were supposed to be good law abiding citizens. We wouldn't give those permits to just anybody would we?MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) -Andrew Engeldinger, the gunman in Thursday afternoon's shooting at the Minneapolis offices of Accent Signage Systems, had a permit to carry, police sources told FOX 9.Engeldinger had no criminal record.The office shooting was reported around 4:25 p.m. Thursday at Accent Signage Systems Inc. on Chestnut Ave. W. in the Bryn Mawr area of Minneapolis, near Interstate 394 and Penn Avenue.Shortly after 5:30 p.m. Thursday, police found Engeldinger dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the corner of the office basement. The shooting left four others dead, including company founder Reuven Rahamim.Two other company executives -- John Souter and Eric Rivers -- were in critical condition at Hennepin County Medical Center. Souter has since been upgraded to serious condition, but Rivers, remains critical.Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan said Engeldinger used a 9mm semi-automatic Glock handgun in Thursday's shooting. Officers searched his south Minneapolis home, where they found another gun and packaging for 10,000 rounds of ammunition."He's had this gun for a while and he's obviously been practicing how to use it," Dolan said.
It turns out that the law abiding permit holder who shot and killed now 5 people plus himself and left 3 others injured, had mental illness:
Why, oh why, do people like this get legal permits to carry loaded guns around in public places? He should not have had guns. He should not have had a gun permit. But that is the version of American the NRA has managed to manipulate with their fear and paranoia and their uber influence on our elected officials. Shame on everyone for allowing this to happen.Later Friday, Engeldinger's family released a statement saying that Andrew struggled with mental illness for years and had lost contact with the family. "This is not an excuse for his actions, but sadly, may be a partial explanation," said the statement, which also said their hearts go out to the families of those killed and wounded.Engeldinger's family hadn't had contact with him for about 21 months after he had shown signs of possible mental illness, said Sue Abderholden, executive director of Minnesota National Alliance on Mental Illness, who has been providing support for the family."They were trying to get him to seek treatment; they did think something was wrong," she said, but that he didn't appear to be a threat to himself or others--criteria for petitioning for his commitment.Abderholden said he had been paranoid with some delusions, symptoms of possible schizophrenia, but was working and able to live alone."He was, to the outside world, doing okay," she said.
Are these two Minnesota guys permit holders?:
A man was shot in the face Saturday afternoon following a road-rage incident that ended in the parking lot of the Isanti Police Department, north of the Twin Cities.Isanti Police Chief Ron Sager said it wasn't exactly clear why the two men were in the police parking lot, which is just west of Hwy. 65.Neither the shooter nor the victim was an officer, he said. The dispute appears to have started as a road-rage dispute on Hwy. 65, Sager said.The shooter was booked into the Isanti County jail and was awaiting formal charges. The victim was conscious and airlifted to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, police said.Christine Hill, an Isanti resident, said she heard shots around 4 p.m. as she stopped at a nearby thrift store.When she and her daughter approached the scene, they saw two motorcycles and two men, one of whom appeared to be in the custody of an officer and another on the ground without his shirt on.
As I suspected, it turns out that one of these guys was a "law abiding" permit holder. From this article about the incident of last week's road rage:
And herein lies the problem with issuing gun permits to just about anyone who applies. There are just plain some people who should not have guns or gun permits. This should be a wake-up call to Minnesotans who care about gun safety.Despite knowing about a string of recent road-rage incidents involving a 71-year-old man, the Isanti County sheriff said Wednesday that he was legally obligated to issue a permit to carry a gun to the man who is now charged with shooting a motorcyclist in the face after cat-and-mouse highway incident over the weekend.Joseph D. Kadlec, 71, of Cambridge, Minn., was charged Tuesday with three felonies in the shooting outside the Isanti Police Department parking lot on Saturday. Authorities say Kadlec has been involved in at least five other road rage incidents since 2008."The reason he was issued a permit is because there was no indication in the required background check that indicated [Kadlec] was a danger to himself or others or was not allowed, by statute, to be issued a permit," Sheriff Russ Monson said in response to an inquiry Tuesday from the Star Tribune.Monson then went on to explain that in each of the five earlier cases, "we have on record [Kadlec] was angry at someone for their driving conduct but never used any weapons, never assaulted anyone, never made threats and was never arrested."The sheriff added that each of the cases ended in a warning and with those involved encouraged to calm down.Kadlec received his permit on Dec. 12, 2011. The earlier incidents spanned from Sept. 6, 2008, to March 28, 2010.