Yesterday, Texas experienced yet another mass shooting in the month of August. Not the best way to wrap up a month that already had one major mass shooting as it was.
The killer has been identified, and he wasn’t exactly unknown to police.
[Name redacted so as to not give these nimrods any more attention], 36, opened fire with an AR-style rifle during a traffic stop on Saturday and went on a shooting spree before being killed by police.
[The shooter], from Odessa, West Texas, had a criminal record and was arrested in 2001 and charged with misdemeanor criminal trespass and evading arrest.
He entered guilty pleas in a deferred prosecution agreement where the charge was waived after he served 24 months of probation, according to records.
That brush with the law would not have prevented [him] from legally purchasing firearms in Texas, although officials have not said where [he] got his weapon.
Investigators are looking into a possible motive for the shooting rampage – which ended when [the killer] was gunned down in hail of bullets outside a cinema.
This is the latest in a deadly string of attacks that have plagued the United States in the last month. This follows Gilroy, El Paso, and Dayton.
However, this particular attack wasn’t like these other attacks. For one, it wasn’t one that took place at a single point. At the risk of quibbling, this is more properly described as a rampage shooting rather than a mass shooting.
Of course, that’s a distinction that’s still pretty much irrelevant.
For another point, it’s difficult to be sure if this was a planned attack in some way or whether it was a spur-of-the-moment kind of thing. However, authorities seem to believe the killer may have been planning an attack at the movie theater.
Agent Combs said the gunman might have stormed the cinema and killed more innocent victims if he had not been stopped.
“In the midst of a man driving down the highway shooting at people, local law enforcement and state troopers pursued him and stopped him from possibly going into a crowded movie theatre and having another event of mass violence,” Combs said.
Whether that was just a worst-case scenario or just some speculation on what the killer might have done is unclear. That said, he did plenty of damage as it was.
With seven dead and a total of 53 people killed in the month of August alone, it’s enough to convince some one-time gun control opponents to reconsider their positions.
Beyond that, however, there’s been little in the way of new developments since earlier today.
What will develop, though, is that Odessa is likely to play a roll in policy when Congress returns to session next week. Especially as we get more information about just how the shooter got his firearms. As noted above, though, there was nothing in his background that would have barred him from buying any particular firearm.
That doesn’t mean it won’t prevent renewed calls for gun control that never really died down after El Paso and Dayton. Especially with regard to the proposed assault weapon ban that is sure to be pushed.
All of that is of small consideration today as we mourn the loss of seven more innocent lives to a mad gunman.