Three Mass Shootings in Five Days—All Could Have Been Prevented

by Elliot Fineman
CEO – Founder
National Gun Victims Action Council


Mass shootings have become so common in the U.S. they do not even make lasting headlines. Right now everyone is talking about the unnamed 14-year-old who allegedly killed his father and shot a teacher and two young boys at an elementary school in rural South Carolina on Wednesday. But who even remembers the young murderer that killed five innocent people at the Cascade Mall in Washington State last Friday? Or that a disgruntled lawyer wearing a Nazi uniform opened fire near a Houston strip mall wounding nine people this past Monday?




The Cascade Mall killer had mental health issues his stepfather said and his parents were “trying to work on them with him.” But, even knowing this, the stepfather did not secure his gun and ammo. The killer stole the .22 caliber Ruger rifle and 25-round magazine that he used in the killings from his stepfather. If the stepfather knew he would be charged as an accomplice to murder were the stepson to take his gun and kill people, you can be sure the gun and ammo would have been secured.


As with the Sandy Hook massacre, smart guns (guns that do not fire unless the fingerprint of the owner matches when the trigger is pulled) or safe storage laws would have spared many lives—but the gun lobby violently opposes smart them. Smart guns or safe storage laws would have prevented the shootings by the unnamed South Carolina teen.


The Houston shooter had a legally purchased a .45-caliber handgun, a “Tommy Gun” and had roughly 2,600 rounds of ammunition when police killed him. (We should track sales of ammunition and interview anyone acquiring such a quantity.) Neighbors said he had recently been acting paranoid. If we had a gun registry—which the NRA also violently opposes—victims also would have been spared. Authorities would have known about the shooter’s descent into violent mental illness after he bought his guns and taken them away.


In addition to those adults who should be prohibited purchasers passing background checks or children taking weapons from parents, many criminals rely on stolen guns.




Privately owned firearms are stolen with alarming frequency: between 300,000 and 600,000 every year, a forthcoming survey of gun ownership by researchers at Harvard and Northeastern universities will show. (The survey, which will be published next year, was provided in advance to The Trace and The Guardian.) As The Trace reports, “At the high end, that’s more than 1,600 guns stolen every day, more than one every minute.” But, if we had smart guns, criminals stealing guns could not use them. There is no rational argument against smart guns.


The gun violence epidemic has become a macabre game of Russian Roulette. We are not safe shopping at Macy’s, where the Washington murderer killed his victims, at the movies, in school, in the workplace or driving down the street.


Other countries have just as many angry, violent disturbed people as the U.S. but they do not have weekly massacres because they have sane gun laws. Nor will any massacres cause a “tipping point” or Congressional solution as gun violence prevention groups still dream. Congress would not even ban terrorist suspects from buying guns after San Bernardino and Orlando. A Congressional solution to gun violence is a fairy tale as I wrote here





Then he can issue the unrestrained executive orders needed to halt it—executive orders he cannot issue without declaring a state of emergency.


Executive Actions Will Not Stop the Gun ÒRussian RouletteÓ Witho

Under the National Emergencies Act the President has both the power and the responsibility to declare a state of emergency “when government lacks the procedures and capacity to address an unchecked natural or man-made public health epidemic.”


If you do not want to play Russian Roulette every time you or your loved ones leave home, have your friends and contacts sign this petition now



Elliot Fineman
CEO – Founder
National Gun Victims Action Council





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