When people go to a car show, they’re hoping to see classic vehicles or the latest souped-up car built for peak performance. For those who went to one show in Arkansas, what they saw will probably fill their nightmares for quite some time.
You go to look at cars, not to see dozens of people shot right in front of you, yet that happened Saturday night.
A man was killed and at least 27 other people were injured in a “gunfight” at a car show in Dumas, Arkansas, on Saturday night, authorities said.
The victims were described as bystanders in a shootout between two suspects, Col. William J. Bryant of Arkansas State Police said at a press conference Sunday.
“The bottom line on this is just two individuals got into a gunfight,” he said. “Unfortunately we had multi [cq] victims of the shooting incident.”
At least six children — the youngest is 19 months old — were among those wounded, he said. They were taken to Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock, according to a spokeswoman.
At least five had been released as of Sunday afternoon, the colonel said.
There was one arrest made, though it appears to actually be unrelated to the shooting.
The one fatality also appears to have been a bystander as well.
In other words, both shooters appear to be at large, which is just wonderful news for the rest of the community.
At this point, we don’t know anything really about the shooters other than it looks like they were trying to take one another out. As a result, it’s difficult to speculate as to any role firearms laws played in the matter, which is going to come up for discussion in the coming weeks, to be sure.
However, does appear to be a prime example of not just recognizing your target, but what all surrounds your target. We’re looking at 27 people injured and one person killed and none of them being the actual target.
While I’m inclined to think neither of the two shooters was properly classified as “good guys,” this kind of thing could easily be replicated with an armed citizen not paying proper attention to his or her surroundings, or their target’s surroundings.
In the meantime, law enforcement will be hunting these two. When they find them, we can get some proper answers as to what happened and what, if anything, can be done to prevent something like this from happening again.
No doubt, some are already talking about universal background checks and magazine bans. After all, they trot those out after every shooting, often before we know anything about what’s happened and well before any answers to our questions start rolling in.
That’s not a good idea and never has been, especially if things break as I suspect and we find out that these are both people with criminal records who had illegally purchased or outright stole their guns in the first place. However, that won’t matter to some. It never has before and I doubt now will be the moment for that to change.
We’ll wait to get some answers before we start issuing pronouncements.