Four killed in Tulsa hospital shooting

After two particularly grisly mass shootings, the last thing we needed was another one. Of course, on the list of things we need, mass shootings are perpetually at the bottom of all the possible things.

Unfortunately, we find ourselves with yet another such shooting, this time in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Here’s the latest we know:

Four people were killed in Tulsa on Wednesday after a gunman — who was later found dead — opened fire on the second floor of a medical building, authorities in Oklahoma said.

“It was just madness inside, with hundreds of rooms and hundreds of people trying to get out of the building,” Tulsa Police Department Captain Richard Meulenberg told CNN.

The mass shooting is the latest instance nationwide of first responders and civilians coming face-to-face with the threat of gun violence, as Tulsa joins several cities mourning recent tragic attacks at public places, places of worship and educational facilities.

Law enforcement received a call just before 5 p.m. Wednesday about an individual with a firearm at the Natalie Medical Building on the campus of St. Francis Hospital, Tulsa Police Deputy Chief Eric Dalgleish said at a news conference.

Responding officers who arrived within minutes “were hearing shots in the building, and that’s what directed them to the second floor,” Dalgleish said.

The gunman was found dead by police as they worked their way inside the building, Meulenberg said, and has not been publicly identified.

The gunman was found with two weapons, firearms described as a semi-automatic rifle and a semi-automatic pistol.

Which, I’m sure, will be brought up repeatedly in the coming days and weeks.

I don’t really have a lot of analysis on this one right now because it just happened. I’m a little rattled by the fact that this happened at this particular hospital, though.

You see, I’ve got a friend who works there. I also just “celebrated” the 10-year anniversary of a friend being killed in the Cafe Racer shooting in Seattle just a couple of days ago.

I could have had to go through all that again.

Luckily, she wasn’t at work. She was in no danger, but the odds…

Anyway, I have no doubt this will add fuel to the gun control fire. Of course, as of right now, we know nothing about the gunman or how he obtained the weapons in the first place. We don’t even really know what kind of semi-automatic rifle he had. While we all suspect we know what it is–and, to be frank, we’re probably right–the truth is that the term “semi-automatic rifle” is a broad category.

I’d tell you to dig in and get ready for a renewed fight for gun control, but the truth is that we’re already there.

We shouldn’t have to, though. We should be allowed to mourn the dead in peace, then coldly examine just what happened before we engage in debate about laws.

Instead, that’s simply not allowed. We’re supposed to jump feet-first into the discussion, but only a certain part of it. The only discussion permitted is just how far we want to take gun control.

The fact that we don’t trip over ourselves to do so is taken as evidence that we simply don’t care. That’s untrue, and my reasons why it’s untrue are provided above.

No, I care. I just don’t think restricting the rights of people who did nothing wrong is a productive way forward.

Right now, I want to know more about this gunman. I want to know what kind of things drove this individual to carry out something like this. I want to know the same about the Uvalde and Buffalo killers.

Then, maybe, we can do something to stop these that will actually work.