The raw hatred that the mainstream media has against gun owners—particularly female gun owners—is laid bare this morning in a vicious tweet and accompanying article from the Associated Press.
Son of a gun lover: Killer and mom shared a fascination with firearms and shot targets together http://t.co/AgsqR8rjGO
— The Associated Press (@AP) October 7, 2015
The incredibly bitter article from Gosia Wozniacka and Brian Melley uses precisely two mass shooting events in all of American history to strongly suggest that mothers are unfit to determine whether or not their adult children are mentally fit to use or own firearms.
The deadly shooting last week at an Oregon community college has an eerie parallel with the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School that killed 20 pupils and six adult staff members in 2012.
Like A___ L____*, the gunman in the Connecticut massacre, C__________ H_____-M_____* was living a mostly solitary life with a mom who shared his fascination with firearms.
Both stories illustrate the struggles parents face caring for a deeply troubled child, struggles that can inadvertently lead to a volatile outcome made easier by ready access to weaponry.
“When you begin to bring guns into the home environment where you have that dangerous cocktail of behavior, that’s pretty unbelievable,” said Mary Ellen O’Toole, a former FBI profiler who directs George Mason University’s forensic science program.
H_____-M_____ bears similarities to other school shooters: a young male focused on mass lethality and carrying out the killings in a military-like mission destined to end in the killer’s own death, O’Toole said.
He was a loner in his 20s like J____ H_____*, who killed 12 people in a cinema in Aurora, Colorado, in 2012; J____ L______*, who seriously wounded Rep. Gabby Giffords and killed six in Tucson, Arizona, in 2011; and E_____ R____*, who killed six people near the University of California, Santa Barbara, campus last year.
Like R_____, he left behind a note that complained about not having a girlfriend.
But the comparison to L____ extends to the relationships both shooters had with their mothers and guns.
Both women were long-time gun enthusiasts, not uncommon in many parts of America where gun ownership is prevalent and encouraged. The two mothers amassed weapons and took their sons to shooting ranges, according to the investigation into the Sandy Hook shooting and the Daily Breeze newspaper in Torrance, California, where H_____ lived for years with her son.
It’s easy to judge them in hindsight, but deeply strained and complicated relationships often lead to bad or desperate parental decisions with tragic consequences, said psychologist Peter Langman, author of two books on school shooters. Many troubled young people are so impaired they’re incapable of living on their own.
“In some cases, (parents) don’t recognize there’s a problem,” Langman said. “In other cases, they’re aware of their child’s mental health issues, but they don’t see any evidence of violence, so they don’t see any reason not to take their kid target shooting.”
The article goes on to note the the mothers of the Sandy Hook and Umpqua Community College attackers were shooting enthusiasts in a tone that suggests that the were abnormal for owning firearms and enjoying target shooting, and faults them for not noticing any possible signs that their children might be dangerously mentally ill.
The Associated Press reporters who wrote the article did not similarly fault the married parents of other mass murderers and spree killers, nor the absentee fathers of the two mass killers that the article focuses upon.
Their implication is clear: Women are unfit to own guns, and unfit to judge whether or not children should have access to firearms.
The article seems is nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to frighten women away from firearms ownership, based on two isolated incidents.
Here’s the reality.
Millions of American women own firearms and enjoy target shooting with both juvenile and adult children every year, without incident. Most women are strong. Most women are intelligent. But because two women made a error in judgement, all should be condemned and dissuaded from gun ownership?
Women like Kristina Ribali use firearms to defend their families against stalkers. Women like Jeanne Assam and Kimberly Munley have fought mass murderers. Women like Julie Golob and Il Ling New are phenomenal competitive shooters and hunters, far better at what they do than most people of either sex.
But step away from the guns, ladies! The Associated Press doesn’t think you have sound judgement when it comes to your children, or your guns.
* Bearing Arms does not publish the names of mass or spree killers.