American are easily distracted. It’s really no fault of our own. With so many of us juggling family obligations with multiple jobs and the looming threat of crippling debt or…
American are easily distracted. It’s really no fault of our own. With so many of us juggling family obligations with multiple jobs and the looming threat of crippling debt or unexpected illness hanging over us, it’s hard enough to keep with the daily tweets from the president and the bevy of scandal from his administration. But there used to be a time in the not-so-distant past where mass casualty shooting events gave us pause. Not anymore.
There have been at least five mass shootings in America in the past five days. and the best this beleaguered nation could offer is a collective shrug.
On Wednesday, a suspect shot and killed five women in a SunTrust bank in Sebring, Florida. On Thursday, a man yelling at a former girlfriend in a Pennsylvania bar shot and killed two people who tried to intervene before shooting his former partner, another stranger and then himself. On Jan. 27, a 15-year-old girl was killed by her 17-year-old boyfriend in Spring, Texas. That same day, a manhunt concluded in Virginia for a suspect who had apparently killed his ex-girlfriend along with her brother and father in Louisiana. After shooting them, he went to his parents’ home, where he shot both his father and mother. Also on Sunday, four teenage girls were shot at a prayer vigil in Newark, New Jersey.
There has been a striking pattern in several of these shootings; a specific similarity shared by the perpetrators. Three out of the last five shooters (Monday’s alleged shooter in Houston and Sunday’s shooter in Newark have not yet been identified) were reportedly young men. All these known suspects were 21 years old and already had some history of violence or threatened violence toward women. Two of the three men had served in the armed forces.
When the ex-girlfriend of the man who allegedly killed five women in a Florida bank last week tried to warn authorities about his suspicious behavior, she says no one took her warnings about him seriously. “He got kicked out of school for having a dream that he killed everybody in his class, and he’s been threatening this for so long, and he’s been having dreams about it and everything,” Alex Gerlach told WSBT-TV. She described her ex-boyfriend as being “fascinated with death and guns.”
“Every single person I’ve told has not taken it seriously, and it’s very unfortunate that it had to come to this.”