Buffalo mass shooter pleads guilty

Buffalo mass shooter pleads guilty
AP Photo/Matt Rourke

The mass shooting at a Buffalo grocery store was a horrific event. It was bad for folks like you and me and we weren’t even there, so I can only imagine what it was like for those caught inside.

And then there was the possibility of having to relive all of that through a trial, which wouldn’t be pleasant at all.

However, I suspect most survivors would have gladly done it just the same in order to make sure justice was served.

Well, now they won’t have to.

The man responsible for killing 10 people and wounding three others at a predominantly black neighborhood’s grocery store has pleaded guilty in court today.

[The killer], a 19-year-old white male whose online footprint revealed deeply troubling views on race, pleaded guilty Monday morning to one count of a domestic act of terrorism motivated by hate, as well as 10 counts of first-degree murder, three counts of attempted murder, and a weapons possession charge.

Those charges come with an automatic mandatory sentence of life in prison without the chance of parole.

There will be no trial and, because it’s a plea deal, there will be no appeal.

This twit will spend the rest of his life in prison. Yeah, maybe that’s too good for him, but he’ll be locked away where he’ll never breathe free air again.

Further, let’s be honest here, prison isn’t likely to be a cakewalk for him. He targeted a grocery store for its mostly black clientele. Do you honestly think someone in that prison isn’t going to take that personally?

Sure, the Aryan Nation will probably embrace him, but there are still a number of folks who are in for life already who won’t blink about putting an end to this guy.

I’m not advocating for that, mind you, just voicing it as a possibility.

As for the sentence itself, we need to remember there are two reasons for a given sentence. One is to remove the offender from the public for a period of time, in many cases in order to rehabilitate them but not always so. Another is to serve as a deterrent to others.

However, that last one doesn’t apply to mass shooters. Many are willing/hoping to die in a hail of gunfire after killing scores of people. I’m pretty sure the fear of going to prison doesn’t factor into the equation.

That leaves removing these folks from society on a permanent basis, and life without parole will do that quite nicely.

So on that score, it will accomplish its job.

But it will not stop future attacks, nor should anyone think it will.

It will keep the Buffalo killer out of circulation and such sentences will keep other such killers out of society as well.  It’s only too bad that this isn’t a deterrent against future attacks. However, I doubt the death penalty would do anything either. After all, if they’re willing to die, threatening them with death just doesn’t seem like much of a threat.

So let’s be glad this guy will never walk the streets again, but let’s also not get our hopes up that this will stop the next Buffalo attack.