Shooting spree reasons differ, but results the same

Another weekend, another shooting spree, this one near Odessa Texas, where seven people died over the weekend, after a man being pulled over on a routine traffic stop responded by pulling out an AR-type rifle and opening fire on police. He sped off, shooting at random people, including a postal worker whose van he hijacked, until police rammed his vehicle outside a crowded movie theater and killed him.

This shooting is a bit different from the El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio shootings and others in recent weeks. The shooter didn’t have any terror group or racist agendas. He was apparently a man angry at the world, who had just been fired from his job, and whose fuse was lit when he was pulled over for not signalling a turn.

People have a lot of different reasons for snapping and going on a killing spree. That’s one reason it is so hard to identify when someone might be a potential mass shooter.

The common denominator is easy access to firearms. We need stricter background checks for people buying assault style weapons, and red flag laws that allow police to disarm those whose family and friends think might be a danger to others and themselves.

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