Mass murder of any stripe is horrific to read or hear about. Unfortunately, they happen.
Usually, we think of these kinds of things as mass shootings, things like Boulder, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Virginia Tech, Columbine, and so many others. That’s because those are the ones that make the headlines.
However, it’s not all of them.
Mass killers can do all sorts of things. In Texas, a pair of brothers killed their family, then themselves, and blamed lax gun laws.
Police in Texas identified the bodies of six family members who died in what appears to be a murder-suicide, several outlets reported.
Farhan Towhid, 19, and his brother Tanvir Towhid, 21, created a suicide pact and killed four of their family members, in Allen, Texas, a suburb of Dallas, police told The Washington Post.
Police discovered the bodies on Monday after a family friend saw a lengthy social media post from Farhan that said he had killed his family and himself, the Post reported. It’s unclear when the murder-suicide took place, but police believe it most likely occurred on Saturday night.
In his social media post, Farhan said he’d been dealing with depression since high school and had been harming himself. He said his brother was also “depressed and socially anxious.”
Farhan said the two devised a plan to kill themselves and decided to also kill their family, “Instead of having to deal with the aftermath of my suicide, I could just do them a favor and take them with me,” the note read, according to the Post.
Farhan added that it was easy for them to obtain guns for their plot despite their mental health issues because of how lax gun laws in the US are.
“Gun control in the US is a joke,” Farhan wrote according to the Post.
Now, for many, that’s quite the indictment. After all, Farhan admits he shouldn’t have been permitted to have a gun, but got one anyway.
However, that’s not quite true.
See, depression affects millions of Americans each year. While it’s often troubling, most obtain treatment and live otherwise normal, productive lives. There’s no need for anyone to fear.
Yet there are procedures in place for dealing with people who actually are a threat. Either Farhan was an obvious threat and his family ignored it or they didn’t know, in which case there was no reason to deny him the right to purchase a gun.
Sure, we can see in the aftermath that he was pretty badly disturbed–normal people don’t slaughter their families, after all–but hindsight is 20/20 and all that.
Meanwhile, Farhan claims lax gun control laws made his atrocities possible. Is that true? Would tighter gun control have prevented such a thing?
Doubtful, and that’s because we have another event to contrast it with; a recent murder-suicide in Brooklyn.
A 9-year-old called police after her mother and two sisters were fatally shot in what appeared to be a triple murder-suicide at what was supposed to be her birthday party in Brooklyn late Monday.
The alleged shooter, the girl’s father, was later found dead on the street, police said, of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The victims were shot inside a fourth floor apartment on Sutter Avenue in Brownsville, inside the Van Dyke Houses, where the girl called 911 around 11:20 p.m. to report that her father had shot her mother and sisters.
“Body-worn camera of her calling 911 just breaks your heart,” NYPD Chief of Detectives Joseph Essig said. “She is saying, ‘Daddy is coming from my birthday. He didn’t bring presents’…It’s really heart wrenching. They have no prior domestic history, there is no 911 calls between them.”
Yet Brooklyn is in New York City, the most gun-controlled city in the nation. You have to jump through countless hoops in order to obtain a firearm, including having to provide a character reference, apparently.
How did that work out?
Disturbed people will continue doing horrific things no matter what the gun laws are. I don’t care just what you try to do to prevent it, either. They’re still going to do it.
If New York City’s gun laws are insufficient to prevent this kind of thing, I fail to see what any new gun laws could do.