There is often debate as to what actually constitutes a mass shooting and what doesn’t. I’m one of those usually knee-deep in that debate, there are times no debate is needed.
We know damn good and well what it is.
Unfortunately, we have yet another one.
Eight people are dead and at least seven others are injured after a mass shooting at the Allen Premium Outlets Saturday afternoon, according to police officials. The shooter is also dead, bringing the death total to nine.
Allen Fire Chief Jonathan Boyd confirmed at about 9 p.m. Saturday that the gunman killed six people at the mall and injured at least nine others. Of the nine who were hospitalized, two later died bringing the total number of people killed to nine, including the gunman.
The seven known survivors being treated include three patients who are critical and four who are stable. Medical City Healthcare told NBC 5 they were providing trauma care to shooting victims who ranged in age from 5 years old to 61 years old.
U.S. Rep. Keith Self (R-McKinney, District 3) said on Twitter at about 6:15 p.m. that the gunman was no longer a threat and that there were a number of casualties, which Allen Chief of Police Brian Harvey later confirmed at a news conference at about 6:30 p.m.
Harvey said an officer was at the outlet mall responding to an unrelated call when he heard gunfire at about 3:30 p.m. Harvey said the officer ran toward the gunfire, found the gunman and “neutralized” him. The officer then made the call for ambulances.
Harvey said they believe the gunman acted alone and that there is no ongoing threat to the community.
Unfortunately, even with an officer on the scene, it wasn’t enough to stop eight innocent people from being gunned down.
That’s likely because according to Google Earth, Allen Premium Outlets is massive. Unless the officer was right there–not on the premises, but right there–when it happened, it’s unlikely he could have reacted any quicker.
Now, obviously, we know nothing about the gunman, his motivations, or the firearms he used.
Despite that, we will have plenty of calls for gun control. Some folks don’t actually need facts to issue calls for restricting our rights. In truth, I’m writing this right after getting up in the morning and for all I know, they’ve already started.
Yet those people would do well to remember that even Serbia just had two mass shootings within a matter of two days, much like how California had two in two days. The problem isn’t gun control or the lack of it. These are much more gun-controlled areas than, say, Texas.
Obviously, we will keep monitoring the situation.
In the meantime, go to your loved ones and hug them and tell them you love them. Eight people’s families can’t do that today. Another seven are just too busy praying for recovery to worry about anything else. That’s what happens after mass shootings, though. A couple of us are all too familiar with that.