We’ve been told that mass shootings are a uniquely American problem. In fact, that particular word, “uniquely” is commonly used, as are some synonyms for it.
That means if the term is accurate, this is a problem we don’t see in other nations.
The problem is that we have. Time and time again.
Unfortunately, we’re seeing it again.
A number of people have been killed in a shooting at a church in Hamburg, Germany, police say.
The shooting took place on Deelböge street in the Gross Borstel district. Local media identified the location as a Jehovah’s Witness centre.
Police say a gunman is believed to be dead. It is unclear if the attacker is among six or seven fatalities reported by German media.
As yet, “there is no reliable information on the motive”, police say.
A police spokesman said investigators had “indications that a perpetrator may have been in the building and may be even among the dead”. “We have no indications of a perpetrator on the run,” he said.
“The officers themselves also heard a shot coming from the upper floors of the building,” the spokesman added. “They went upstairs and also found a body there.”
Now, this is still very early and we know, well, next to nothing to speak of.
At least one earlier report said a suspect was on the run, only for this to now say one isn’t.
We also do not know if the shooter was among the victims.
However, there are a few things worth noting. One is that if this place was anything like the Jehovah’s Witnesses churches we have around my parts, there are no windows. That may not have meant anything, but it may also have meant there were fewer avenues of escape for those within.
We also know that Germany has strict gun control laws, which creates a slew of questions about just how the shooter got a gun in the first place.
For all the unknowns, such as why, with what exactly, and a host of other things, we will be forced to wait.
I know that’s frustrating, but that’s just how it goes. We’ve seen that with mass shootings here in the US, and that’s without needing anything translated into English for popular consumption.
Needless to say, this will play into our domestic gun control debate and I’m quite sure Germany will be having its own discussions about guns, especially before we learn how the gunman got his.
And yes, I’m going to assume it was a guy because it usually is. Not universally, but that’s generally the case.
As we wait, though, I’m going to ask for thoughts and prayers for those who lost their lives and their families as well. A couple of us in the Bearing Arms family have a pretty good idea what they’re dealing with right now and the next weeks and months are going to be rough. Pray that they can get through it.
In the meantime, we will be following this story.