My heart is broken.
Wednesday morning, two journalists were shot and killed by a disgruntled former coworker during an on-location live broadcast in Roanoke, Virginia. Viewers and producers watched in horror as Alison Parker, 24, Adam Ward, 27, and the woman Parker was interviewing, Vicki Gardner, were shot before their eyes. Only Gardner survived.
The shooter also filmed the crime with a body cam and later posted it on his social media feeds. Although Facebook quickly removed the video and the shooter’s profile, videos of the first person and live broadcast circulated around the Internet.
I still can’t get those images out of my head.
We’re now averaging one mass shooting a day in 2015. As of Aug. 26, the 238th day of the year, there have been 247 mass-shooting incidents in America according to a list compiled by this year. The Washington Post defines a “mass shooting” as any single incident in which at least four people are shot, including the gunman.
In the gun-control debate, a famous argument by those against gun control is that if a “bad guy” wants to get a gun, they won’t stay within the law to obtain it.
This is true, but how many lives would be saved by making it that much harder for those with dark intentions to obtain a firearm?
What about the anchor who legally obtained a gun and shot two former coworkers on live TV? Those are two lives that could’ve been saved. How about John Houser, a man who had shown signs of mental instability but was able to legally obtain a gun from an Alabama pawn shop, who shot 11, killing two, during a screening of “Trainwreck” in a movie theater in Lafayette, Louisiana, just a few weeks ago.
What about Dylann Roof, the 21-year-old who legally obtained a gun through a loophole, killing nine people in a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina?
The list goes on.
Fifteen lives, just from those three men who all legally obtained guns, could’ve been saved.
Following the shooting in Charleston this summer, President Barack Obama spoke out about yet another tragedy.
“Once again, innocent people were killed because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun,” Obama said.
Gun control is a problem. It shouldn’t take a live execution on the morning news to tell us that. How many more shootings do we need?