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Beto O

2020 presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke said that the El Paso mass shooting was “the cost and the consequence” of President Trump.

Former Texas Rep. O’Rourke made the remarks during his opening remarks at Thursday night’s presidential debate in Houston, Texas.

“On Aug. 3, in El Paso, Texas, two things became crystal clear for me and I think produced a turning point for this country. The first is just how dangerous Donald Trump is. The cost and the consequence of his presidency,” O’Rourke began.

“A racism and violence that had long been a part of America was welcomed out into the open and directed to my hometown of El Paso, Texas, where 22 people were killed, dozens more grievously injured by a man carrying a weapon he should never have been able to buy in the first place, inspired to kill by our president,” he continued. “The second is how insufficient our politics is to meet the threat that we have right now. The bitterness, the pettiness, the smallness of the moment, the incentives to attack one another and try to make differences without distinctions, mountains out of mole hills, we have to be bigger.”

O’Rourke has made gun control a big part of his platform since the shooting occurred. Earlier on Thursday, he called for banks and credit card companies to refuse to facilitate purchases of “assault weapons.” O’Rourke also suggested they stop doing business with companies who make them.


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El Paso Shooting Suspect Indicted On Capital Murder Charge

An El Paso County Grand Jury has indicted Patrick Crusius, who is now charged with capital murder in connection with the shooting deaths of 22 people at the Cielo Vista Walmart on Aug. 3.

John Locher/AP


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John Locher/AP

An El Paso County Grand Jury has indicted Patrick Crusius, who is now charged with capital murder in connection with the shooting deaths of 22 people at the Cielo Vista Walmart on Aug. 3.

John Locher/AP

The 21-year-old white man accused of gunning down 22 people and wounded dozens of others at a Texas Walmart was formally indicted on a capital murder charge Thursday.

A grand jury in El Paso County indicted Patrick Crusius in connection with the mass shooting at the Cielo Vista Walmart on Aug. 3, according to a statement from the El Paso District Attorney’s Office.

District Attorney Jamie Esparza said on Aug. 4 that he planned to seek the death penalty.

The suspect surrendered to law enforcement as he was driving away from the bloodbath, saying, “I’m the shooter.”

He has since been held without bond and placed on suicide watch at the El Paso County Detention Facility, where authorities say he has been cooperating with the investigation.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit, Crusius confessed that he planned the rampage and drove nearly 10 hours from his home in the Dallas suburb of Allen to the border city with the intention of targeting Mexicans.

The 22 victims ranged in age from 15 to 90. Thirteen are listed as U.S. citizens; eight are Mexican nationals. One is German.

Authorities believe Crusius is the author of a 2,300-word, anti-Hispanic screed that was published to an online message board about 20 minutes before the mass shooting. The four-page posting talked about a “Hispanic invasion of Texas.”

If officials conclude that he indeed wrote the manifesto, it could also prompt federal hate crime charges.


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Airman saves life in Odessa, Texas, amidst mass shooting

Staff Sgt. Quay Drawdy, Air University Public Affairs
Published 9:59 a.m. CT Sept. 12, 2019

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A police cruiser and civilian vehicle sit at an intersection following a mass shooting incident in which the civilian driver sustained three gunshot wounds Aug. 31, 2019, in Odessa, Texas. Dr. Nathaniel Ott, an Air Force Reserve instructor in Air University’s LeMay Center Joint Integration directorate, rushed out to the scene after hearing the shots from outside the ER in which he works in his civilian-capacity career. He worked with an officer and paramedic to turn a police cruiser into an impromptu ambulance to transport the victim to a nearby trauma center for treatment. (Photo: Contributed)

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE – An Air Force Reserve member was working in a civilian capacity in Odessa, Texas, on August 31, and helped provide life-saving first-aid to a woman suffering from three gunshot wounds.

Lt. Col. Nathaniel Ott, an instructor in Air University’s LeMay Center Joint Integration directorate, was in Odessa, Texas, working as an emergency room physician when he heard a “pop” from outside. Ott walked toward the nurses’ station, heard three more distinctive “pop” sounds and stepped outside to see a vehicle with nearby police attempting to assist the driver.

Dr. Nathaniel Ott, an Air Force Reserve instructor in Air University’s LeMay Center Joint Integration directorate, stands in his scrubs at his civilian-capacity career as an ER physician in Odessa, Texas. (Photo: Contributed)

“I ran out across the field to where the vehicle was and, in the driver’s seat, was a young woman who had been shot from the passenger side; there were holes in the passenger side of her car,” said Ott. “She was bleeding pretty profusely and her arm had been broken.”

A paramedic on the scene had put a tourniquet on her arm to help control the bleeding. Ott assessed her condition and concluded the victim needed to be transported to a trauma center. He knew a blood transfusion was the only way to save her life and the ER where he was working is not equipped with blood products or trauma surgeons

One of the officers on the scene asked Ott if they should wait for an ambulance or get the victim into her police cruiser. The pair decided the victim couldn’t wait and needed to be transported immediately. While the officer and paramedic were assisting the victim, Ott ran back into the ER, grabbed IV components, brought a nurse with him and began working to turn the cruiser into an impromptu ambulance.

“Ambulances have a lot of restrictions on what they can do if there’s an active shooter situation and the police don’t, so that allowed the patient to get to the hospital quickly,” said Ott. “We then worked on transferring the patient. She was pretty weak and could only sort of stand up with us providing support. We got her into the back seat of the cruiser and the paramedic got into the other side, began working on getting an IV in and the cruiser took off.”

Despite the shooter having left the area initially, the group wasn’t completely safe.

“While we working on getting the patient transferred, the shooter drives by in front of us, maybe thirty feet away,” said Ott. “Fortunately, he wasn’t shooting at that time and there were quite a few police officers chasing him. It was chaotic – It’s one of those things you don’t really think about in that moment; you just sort of go and focus on your task.”

After passing by, the shooter pulled into a parking lot right next to the facility Ott was working in.

“We had patients in our ER and a police officer said, ‘Hey, you can’t go back there,’ and we told him, ‘Look, we have patients we have to take care of,’” said Ott. “They let us take a circuitous route around the gunfire to get back.”

The victim made it to the hospital and is in recovery.

Following the event, Ott made a point of taking care of what was important in his own life.

“What was next for me was wanting to hug my wife, Terah, and our five kiddos,” said Ott. “They were out of town at the time and took a few days to get back, but it just felt so good to hold them. It puts things in perspective.”

Before his transition from active duty to the Air Force Reserve, Ott served 13 years as an F-16 pilot. He then went to medical school and became an emergency physician.

“I can definitely say that training as a fighter pilot and then a year getting mortared in Iraq developed in me the ability to focus on a task and not worry about what else is going on,” said Ott. “Just focus on getting the job done in spite of everything else.”

Read or Share this story: https://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/story/news/2019/09/12/airman-saves-life-odessa-texas-amidst-mass-shooting/2299379001/


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Prayer vigil held for Midland-Odessa mass shooting victims

MIDLAND, Texas — Heavy hearts filled the Midland College Beal Plaza, as many gathered to mourn and pray for the victims of Midland and Odessa’s mass shooting.

“We’re here to find our place, find our bearing, kind of get life back on track, make sure everyone’s okay, peaceful. Because what happened a weekend or so ago was not normal, if you will, and was just a travesty,” said Pastor of True-Lite Christian Fellowship Roy Smith.


Smith says his services have revolved around a simple gesture that matters the most.

“To make sure when I ask the question, ‘How are you doing?’ make sure I have long enough to stay and hear the answer. 

“I want to know how they’re doing. We talked last Wednesday night at church and the whole service that’s what we talked about,” Smith said.

“Because healing, in this process even for those that were removed from the actual incident itself, they have friends that were up close. I just want to make sure that my sphere of influence are okay.”

Some are still confused and even mad at the situation. But Midland Fire captain and chaplain Casey Green says his spirit rests easy with his trust in God.

“I trust God with everything. And so even though we don’t know God’s plans, I trust him and whatever his plans are, are greater than ours. His thoughts are higher than ours and I know we have eternal salvation with God and I just place my trust in that and go with that,” said Green.

Tears flowed, people dropped to their knees and sang in prayer at the top of their lungs.

The community is still hurting, but hope was in the air..

“Well we’re not promised that life is going to be easy, life’s tough,” said Green.

“We have hurt, we have sorrow. But through all that, just you have to rely on God and trust in him in these times, people don’t know, people are hurting but just trust in God.”

RELATED: All victims of Midland-Odessa shooting have been released from the hospital

RELATED: City of Odessa hoping to implement public notification system after mass shooting

RELATED: Odessa PD sees increase in threats since mass shooting



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Pitts: Another mass shooting, a nation on tenterhooks

In 1879, on the road leading into Dodge City, there stood a sign. “The Carrying of Fire Arms Strictly Prohibited,” it said.

As recounted in the book “Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America” by Adam Winkler, the gun control ordinance was the first law passed when the city was organized in 1873. Nor was Dodge unique. Many other western towns, Wichita and Tombstone among them, had similar laws.

The statutes don’t seem to have been particularly controversial. Though Dodge City was, by reputation if not always in actual fact, one of the toughest and most lawless places on the frontier, cowboys had no problem walking unarmed into its brothels and saloons. Yet in 2019, many of us feel the need to take guns into Walmart.

Worse, they’re allowed to do so under permissive “open carry” laws which, in most states, give people the right to bear handguns and even long guns in public. But now Walmart is fighting back. Sort of.

Last week, the giant retailer announced that it was “respectfully requesting” that people not bring guns into its stores. This, on the heels of last month’s racist mass shooting — 22 people died — at a Walmart in El Paso. Other companies, including Kroger, CVS and Walgreens, quickly followed suit. The New York Times notes that still more companies — Starbucks, Target and Chipotle among them — already had such policies in place. Most used the same word Walmart did to couch their requests: “respectfully.”

To say “it’s about time” is to understate. Years of living in the shadow of massacres has left us a nation on tenterhooks, 330 million people all sharing the same case of PTSD. One recalls the panicked stampede in Times Square last month when motorcycles backfired. One observes that children are being sent back to school this year with bulletproof backpacks. And one is glad businesses are willing to “respectfully request.”

The idea of a cowboy walking without his revolver down the wooden sidewalks of Tombstone stands in rather pointed contrast to that of some accountant waiting in line at a suburban Starbucks with an AR-15 slung across his back. One can imagine no more vivid illustration of the absurdist dystopia this country has become as a result of the NRA, its GOP toadies and their conviction that all people must have access to all guns in all places at all times.

If you’re sitting in a movie theater or standing in a checkout line and some stranger walks by carrying a military grade rifle, do you feel safer or do you start looking for the exit? The answer is obvious: this is not a scenario that instills a sense of security. One would have to be drunk, stupid or Republican to think otherwise.

So it’s good to see American business taking a stand American lawmakers won’t, the marketplace of commerce reaching a consensus the marketplace of ideas can’t. That said, this polite pleading is not enough. Asked about Walmart’s policy, even David Amad, a gun rights activist in Texas, told the Times, “They are ducking the issue.”

Which they are. Walmart and other retailers seek a path of least resistance that will relieve them of the responsibility of taking a stand. But no such path exists: sides must be chosen and lines must be drawn, because this is, quite literally, a matter of life and death. And death and death and death. As a private entity, Walmart, like CVS, Starbucks and Kroger, can simply say, Do not bring guns into our stores. They have that power and they must use it. The majority of us who want gun sanity in this land must require them to. They’ve made their “respectful request.”

We must answer with an impatient demand.

Pitts is a columnist for the Tribune Content Agency.


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Hernando Man Accused of Mass Shooting Threat Arrested on Weapons Charges

WEEKI WACHEE, Fla. — A Hernando County man arrested earlier this year for allegedly threatening to commit a mass shooting on social media is in trouble with the law again. This time, Larry Morelli Jr. faces weapons charges.

Weapons in home violated risk protection order from earlier case
Detectives also found marijuana, drug paraphernalia while executing search warrant
More Hernando County stories

According to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office, detectives received several anonymous tips between July 31 and Sept. 5 that Morelli, 24, was advertising guns for sale on social media.

During the execution of a search warrant at Morelli’s home, authorities found an Eagle Arms AR-15 rifle, a Core 15 AR-15 rifle with scope, a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun, an F12 magazine-fed 12-gauge shotgun with ammunition, and 412 rounds of various types of ammunition. This violated a risk protection order stemming from the earlier case that prohibited him from buying, selling, or possessing firearms for one year. 

“Well, it makes me not feel so safe anymore,” said neighbor Betty Carter, who describes the neighborhood as a typically quiet place.

“It’s scary because I have my grandkids over here, and it makes me not want to have them over here,” said Carter’s daughter, Sandra Cromwell, who also lives in the neighborhood.

Detectives also reportedly found marijuana, hashish wax, THP vape pens, steroid vials, suboxone, and a glass pipe and scale with marijuana residue in Morelli’s home. He faces five counts each of violation of risk protection order and person engaged in criminal offense/having weapons.

Other charges include possession of hashish with intent to sell, possession of marijuana with intent to sell, possession of controlled substance, and possession of paraphernalia.

Morelli was previously arrested in February for the social media threat.


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Police: Tips may have stopped Norwalk men from carrying out mass shootings

Jeremy Hugh Rogers, 25, of Norwalk, was arrested Aug. 22, 2019 on charges of terrorizing, terrorizing with a deadly weapon and possession of a deadly weapon by a prohibited person. Police said could have been targeting a Walmart in Maine for a mass shooting. Authorities were alerted after Rogers allegedly sent a video on Facebook Messenger to a woman in New York. The video showed Rogers wearing a ski mask and holding an AR-15 rifle. In the video, he allegedly said, “F— it, I’m going to Walmart.”

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Jeremy Hugh Rogers, 25, of Norwalk, was arrested Aug. 22, 2019 on charges of terrorizing, terrorizing with a deadly weapon and possession of a deadly weapon by a prohibited person. Police said could have been

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Photo: Knox County Jail Photo

Photo: Knox County Jail Photo

Jeremy Hugh Rogers, 25, of Norwalk, was arrested Aug. 22, 2019 on charges of terrorizing, terrorizing with a deadly weapon and possession of a deadly weapon by a prohibited person. Police said could have been targeting a Walmart in Maine for a mass shooting. Authorities were alerted after Rogers allegedly sent a video on Facebook Messenger to a woman in New York. The video showed Rogers wearing a ski mask and holding an AR-15 rifle. In the video, he allegedly said, “F— it, I’m going to Walmart.”

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Jeremy Hugh Rogers, 25, of Norwalk, was arrested Aug. 22, 2019 on charges of terrorizing, terrorizing with a deadly weapon and possession of a deadly weapon by a prohibited person. Police said could have been

… more

Photo: Knox County Jail Photo

Police: Tips may have stopped Norwalk men from carrying out mass shootings

NORWALK — In a span of a few weeks, police say tips may have stopped two city men in their 20s from carrying out mass shootings.

Brandon Wagshol, 22, is confined to his father’s Bedford Avenue apartment on house arrest after police say he showed an interest on social media in committing a mass shooting.

Jeremy Hugh Rogers, 25, remains jailed in Maine where police say he threatened to carry out a mass shooting at a local Walmart.

A Norwalk police spokesman has not responded to a request for comment whether there’s a connection between the men.

Rogers was arrested Aug. 22 on charges of terrorizing, terrorizing with a deadly weapon and possession of a deadly weapon by a prohibited person.

According to his Facebook page, Rogers grew up in Greenwich. A Greenwich High School official said Wednesday Rogers withdrew in 2011 before graduating. It was not known why he withdrew.

In October 2016, Rogers was convicted in Connecticut on firearms and child endangerment charges — both felonies.

Rogers was charged in July 2016 with criminal possession of a firearm, altering identification on guns, risk of injury to a minor and violation of probation following a disturbance at a Norwalk home. Rogers was living on Silk Street in Norwalk at the time.

His latest arrest stemmed from a New York woman tipping off Maine authorities that he could be targeting a Walmart there for a mass shooting, police said.

Police said the tip fueled a fast-moving investigation from multiple law enforcement agencies that may have stopped Rogers from carrying out the incident.

Authorities were alerted after Rogers allegedly sent a video on Facebook Messenger to a woman in New York. According to the Village Soup newspaper, the video showed Rogers wearing a ski mask and holding an AR-15 rifle.

In the video, he allegedly said, “F— it, I’m going to Walmart.”

In a second video, Rogers was not wearing a mask, the newspaper said, and was making disparaging comments about a woman and pointing a gun at his head. The woman later called New York State Police to report his erratic behavior, police said.

Another video was then found on Facebook of Rogers shooting off the semi-automatic AR-15 rifle into the air on a property he recently moved to in Rockport, Maine, police said.

While searching for Rogers on Aug. 21, police said they closed and evacuated the Walmart in Thomaston, Maine, where officers believe he may have been heading.

Rogers was eventually detained outside a Rockport residence. Rogers, who remains in custody in Maine on $50,000 cash bail, will be back in court on Sept. 25.

“He was prepared for something,” Officer Elizabeth Hart, of the Thomaston Police Department, told the Bangor Daily News. “We’re not sure what, exactly.”

“Everyone felt that this case required a very fast response,” Hart said. “These types of individuals, these types of threats, are the ones that sometimes slip through the cracks.”

The Maine incident happened three weeks after a gunman went to a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, and killed 22 people there.

Wagshol was arrested last month on four counts of illegal possession of large-capacity magazines stemming from a raid of his Bedford Avenue apartment where police say they found guns, ammunition, body armor and a full camouflage outfit.

A search warrant said Wagshol had an interest in mass shootings that dated back to 2008, when he was a sixth-grader at Ponus Ridge Middle School. In November of that year, Wagshol threatened to shoot another student using his father’s guns after the other child’s talking made it hard for him to concentrate, the warrant said.

“I’ll make Virginia Tech look like nothing,” he muttered under his breath, the warrant said, in reference to the Virginia Tech shooting in which 33 people died the previous year. Wagshol’s case was later referred to the state Department of Children and Families.

Norwalk police said they received a tip about a Facebook post Wagshol made about having an interest in “committing a mass shooting” and learned he purchased parts online to make his own rifle.

Hours after Wagshol’s court arraignment on Aug. 16, a post was made on social media warning people of potential accomplices.

“It’s now rumored he’s got accomplices and they would be targeting local Walmarts,” the post read. “I’d avoid Walmarts this weekend and be careful while out in public.”

Later that day, Norwalk police said, “the information contained in the post is false. Wagshol remains incarcerated. Moreover, to date, the investigation has neither revealed a specifically targeted location nor an accomplice.”

In his witness statement to police, Wagshol said he drove to New Hampshire to “acquire 30-round magazines and ammunition to circumvent what I viewed as an unconstitutional restriction on the Second Amendment.”

Wagshol said he purchased four 30-round magazines and 120 rounds of 300 blackout ammunition for “firearm training,” according to his statement to police. Connecticut law defines a “large-capacity magazine” as one that accepts more than 10 rounds of ammunition. Transporting large-capacity magazines into the state is a felony. New Hampshire does not have magazine restrictions.

Police said a .40 caliber handgun and .22 caliber rifle found belonged to Wagshol’s father, but were accessible to him. In addition to the weapons, police said they found a rifle scope with a laser, four firearm optic sites, a firearm flashlight, body armor with a titanium plate, a full camouflage outfit, a ballistic helmet, tactical gloves, a camouflage bag, computers, and numerous .40 caliber, .22 caliber and .300 blackout rounds of ammunition.

On Aug. 30, Wagshol was released after posting a $250,000 bond and he is scheduled to return to state Superior Court in Stamford for his next pre-trial hearing on Sept. 20.

Judge Kevin Randolph ordered him wear to wear a GPS ankle bracelet, remain under house arrest and to report to the office of adult probation in the courthouse every day as well as undergo a mental health evaluation.


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Nearly half of US adults fear being victim of mass shooting, poll finds

WASHINGTON – Americans appear to be more worried that ever about the possibility of themselves or a loved one becoming a victim of a mass shooting, according to a new Gallup poll.

After two mass shootings last month claimed the lives of 31 people in one weekend, approximately 48 percent of U.S. adults surveyed said they were “very” or “somewhat” worried, compared with 39 percent in 2017 after a gunman killed 58 people at a country concert in Las Vegas. Approximately 38 percent of U.S. adults said they were “very” or “somewhat” worried in 2015 after a shooting in San Bernardino left 14 dead.

The most recent poll was conducted between Aug. 15 to Aug. 30, less than two weeks after the back-to-back shootings.

Authorities said 22 people were killed and 24 others injured on Aug. 3 when a gunman opened fire at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas. Hours later, authorities said 9 people were killed in Dayton, Ohio and another 27 were wounded early in the morning on Aug. 4 before police shot and killed a 24-year-old suspect.

RELATED: El Paso funeral homes offer free services to families of mass shooting victims

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The polling organization said the previous polls conducted in 2015 and 2017 were conducted in the immediate aftermath of the shootings — and said the latest August 2019 poll “may have been even higher had the poll happened closer to the shootings.”

In total, 19 percent of American adults said they were “very worried,” 29 percent said they were “somewhat worried,” 27 percent reported being “not too worried” and 25 percent said they were “not worried at all” about becoming the victim of a mass shooting.

Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, those who do not personally own a gun, women and younger adults were all significantly more worried than their counterparts, the Gallup poll showed.

In the recent poll, 64 percent of Democrats and 27 percent of Republicans said they were “very” or “somewhat worried.” In 2015, 46 percent of Republicans and 32 percent of Democrats registered the same degree of worry.

Approximately 13 percent of U.S. adults said they purchased a gun out of worry — and 12 percent said they had avoided going to events like concerts, festivals and sporting events with large crowds.

RELATED: Ohio lawmaker blames mass shootings on ‘drag queen advocates,’ video games, ‘open borders’

This story was reported from Cincinnati.


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Mass shootings: the cause of our PTSD – The Rider News

Times Square is where an average of at least 400,000 pedestrians walk through on a daily basis and where chaos is systematic and controlled by New York’s fast-paced way of life. 

In the beginning of August, a loud pop sounded in the distance and caused thousands of people to flee and take cover in all different directions. Mothers grabbed their children, partners reached for each other’s hands and diners fled their tables, all in a panic and perhaps thinking one thing — “it’s happening.” 

In reality, it was just a motorcycle backfiring. But, what if it was not?

The warm weather and break from school did not make any difference this summer nor did it exempt innocent lives from being robbed by the hands of monsters disguised as everyday people. The public was informed of the two gunmen who committed mass shootings just hours apart, the first one in El Paso, Texas, the next in Dayton, Ohio. There were a total of 31 people killed in less than 24 hours. 

The country has become numb to the inhumanity of violent and senseless crimes that take place. We live our lives desensitized to merciless acts of gun violence. From school shootings to hate crimes, we seem to be paralyzed to these closely connected tragedies and that is truly the most alarming part. These ordeals are becoming more ordinary than isolated.

The United States is currently dealing with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to the immense number of mass shootings that happen almost at a daily rate. Trauma is the emotional shock people experience following emotionally disturbing experiences, whether they are mass shootings, automobile accidents or even a natural disaster, according to ABC News.

“Every time we have a gun violence episode, we accumulate more and more trauma,” Dr. Alauna Curry, a veterans affairs psychiatrist who specializes in psychological trauma, told ABC News.

This is through the lens of U.S. citizens who witnessed mass shootings second hand, either via social media or from their living rooms. Just imagine those who witnessed these atrocities first hand. The National Center for PTSD estimates that 28 percent of people who witness a mass shooting develop PTSD and about a third develop acute stress disorder. 

We have to acknowledge that what is currently taking place are acts of domestic terrorism. According to the FBI, domestic terrorism is defined as individuals and/or groups inspired by or associated with primarily U.S.-based movements that espouse extremist ideologies of a political, religious, social, racial or environmental nature. Terrorism is when someone’s basic human right is being denied, from going to school, the grocery store or the mall. When those day-to-day things become threatened, that is when we have to address the issue nationally. 

It is easy to place blame when someone else is at fault and hard to acknowledge when we are the ones enabling the problem. We have to acknowledge that we have a gun violence issue domestically. Americans are targeting and killing other Americans at an alarming rate and it is not being taken seriously. Bulletproof backpacks, armed teachers and active shooter drills are all alternatives, not solutions. We are not trying to solve the problem. We are trying to conceal it. 

Exactly 18 years ago today the United States remembers one of the most tragic and unforgettable events in history. As we mourn the thousands who lost and sacrificed their lives on that very day, I want to remind us of an important question: Why is it that we react with such patriotism (sometimes irrationally) when the terrorist is a foreign invader? But, why, when the terrorist is a native of the U.S., we tend to turn a blind eye?

Qur’an Hansford

junior journalism major


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'Threat Matrix' among new police tools in wake of Aurora mass shooting

CHICAGO (WLS) — Nearly seven months after a deadly mass shooting at an Aurora factory, police are working on new tactics and strategies to prevent that kind of crime, or better respond when one does happen.

Aurora police are now using a “Threat Matrix” to identify potential shooters before they act out. It is a new, and uncertain, line of law enforcement work, and Aurora authorities say they know that not every threat can be predetermined and stopped.

As the I-Team first reported after that February attack, the shooter lied about his felony history to obtain an Illinois gun card; history that probably would have been detected had fingerprints been required.

“If that fingerprint would’ve been taken for the FOID application we would’ve seen his felony record in Mississippi that would have come up,” said Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman. “He would’ve not been able to purchase the gun that he used to kill those five people and shoot five of my officers that day.”

Even after the attack in Aurora, such a fingerprint provision failed to pass the Illinois General Assembly.

On Tuesday Chief Ziman said state police and local authorities are more aggressively pursuing people whose Firearm Owner Identification Cards have been revoked.

In the months since Gary Martin went on a shooting rampage after being fired by Henry Pratt company, police officials said they have learned more about him and what happened February 15.

“In this particular case I didn’t see any signs of mental illness. It was anger,” said Ziman. “But what I’d like to stress is that many people heard him make comments as even as early as that morning that he was going to take some people down and that was not reported, and so my plea to organizations is to say something if you hear it, even if it turns out to be nothing.”

Police in Aurora, and everywhere, would like to head off threats long before they erupt.

“What we’re trying to do is look at the list of those people and develop some sort of a matrix to determine is this person someone who is capable of physical violence because of a record, a past record of such,” Chief Ziman said.

Ziman told the I-Team that she and her department “like to think that we could have stopped him. But trust me, I lose sleep over this one thinking what could have been done to prevent this. And I don’t know the answer.”

Copyright © 2019 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.


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