What do we know?

At this writing, there have been several shootings resulting in over ten fatalities in the United States since September.  In the lastest, the alleged shooter was former Marine Ian David Long.  Long was 28, not a youngster as some described, but  a divorcee who lived with his Mom in his  childhood home.  We don’t know why he left the Marine Corps (although there are claims he had PTSD), we don’t know where he was employed (in the event he was working, or in the event he wasn’t, why not) and we don’t know his connection to the Borderline Bar, the establishment in Thousand Oaks, California, where the shootings occurred.

Some pundits claim Long had an extended magazine in his Glock 45 caliber pistol.  He rapidly dispatched the bouncer at the bar and the first policeman who arrived on the scene.  Given this evidence of weapons dexterity, it’s unlikely Long needed an extended magazine to do the damage done.  He evidently shot himself, suggesting he might have been attempting to find a person, or persons, in the bar, and once he had done so, took his own life.

Robert Bowers, alleged white supremacist, shouted he wanted to kill all Jews (in the hospital where a number of Jewish medical staff treated him after the event), allegedly killed 11 at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.  He was shot by police at the synagogue, transported to a hospital and then to jail, pleading innocent in court recently.  Bowers was an avowed anti-Semite who may have been motivated by perceptions relating to immigration of criminals.  He had a license to carry firearms and is reported to have purchased six since 1996. Reports state  a rifle and three handguns were found at the scene.  The synagogue shootings have sparked a new movement to squash antisemitism in America.

While there hasn’t been a resounding call to more weapon control legislation in the USA, resulting from these shootings, the recent Democratic majority in Congress will probably pursue such legislation.  The synagogue shooting may have driven voters toward the Democratic party although no surveys have suggested this.  The Republican party gained seats in the US senate but lost its majority in  Congress, although some suggest there were fewer Congressional seats lost in this election than “mid-term” elections under other recent US Presidents.

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