Saturday, February 16, 2008

Another University Shooting Due to Lack of Gun Control

After the Virginia Tech massacure in April 2004 one would think that more would have been done to restrict the ability of unstable individuals to buy guns. It remains far too easy to buy weapons in most states and Virginia is certainly one of the offending jurisdictions in that regard. I will conceed that I have never been a gun proponent perhaps because growing up hunters regularly ignored no trespass signs on our property and made it risky for my siblings and I to go horseback riding on our property due to the hunters' reckless disregard for the rights of property owners. We often marveled that none of our horses were ever shot (I remeber reading a story once in the local paper where a person had been shot in their own back yard while feeding a pet rabbit).

Now, after five innocent young lives [the victims are pictured above] have been snuffed out at Northern Illinois University, it turns out that once again an individual with a history of mental illness was allowed under the lax gun control laws to legally buy weapons. One has to wonder how many people have to die before the NRA and other knee jerk proponents of the 2nd Amendment will admit that reasonable regulations for public safety purposes is NOT a denial of a constitutional right? There were plenty of warning signs that the shooter in this instance had psychological problems. With a child of my own away at college this type of incident is particularly upsetting. Especially when through stricter regulations it might have been avoided. Here are some highlights from the Chicago Tribune (,1,2815974.story?page=1&track=rss):

A day after Kazmierczak opened fire on a crowded Northern Illinois University classroom, investigators said they were no closer to understanding why.Kazmierczak left a baffling trail of mixed messages. He was bright and earnest, if sometimes shy, and had dedicated his professional life to criminal justice and helping people. But on Thursday, he slaughtered four defenseless young women and a young man in a barrage of gunfire.
Kazmierczak spent more than a year at a Chicago psychiatric treatment center called Thresholds-Mary Hill House in the late 1990s, former house manager Louise Gbadamashi told the Associated Press. She said his parents placed him after high school because he had become "unruly" at home. She also said he used to cut himself for attention.She said he often resisted taking his medications, though he eventually became "compliant." Gbadamashi said she couldn't remember any instances of Kazmierczak being violent.
Law enforcement sources said Kazmierczak was taking medication for an anxiety disorder, and police said Friday he had recently stopped taking his medication.Thomas said Kazmierczak had confided in him that he had served in the military and received a discharge for psychological reasons.

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