The 32 Second Killing Spree

Three mass shootings in a week. El Paso, Texas, Gilroy, California, and now Dayton, Ohio, where many of my friends live (none were present at the shooting). Actually, America averages more than one mass shooting a day; these three simply made it to the front page due to their larger-than-usual death tallies.

The young man who killed 9 and injured 27 in Dayton last weekend was suspended from high school for posting lists of people he wanted to kill and girls he wanted to rape. Later, the school was put on lockdown when he announced his plans for a mass shooting. He regularly sang in “pornogrind” bands performing songs that celebrate rape and torture.

Should he have been allowed to purchase 100-round magazines and a semi-automatic weapon advertised by its manufacturer as “the sound freedom makes” while producing “an orchestra of metal and hellfire”? Should he have been allowed to kill and wound dozens of people in 32 seconds?

32 seconds. That’s how long it was before the police, who were nearby when he opened fire, took him down. Is greater availability of guns for the masses the solution? Ohio has a liberal concealed carry law. No one could have (or did) stop him before the police did.

9 dead and 27 wounded in 32 seconds.

Yes, we have a cultural problem, and further tightening gun laws and establishing consistent psych evaluation-based red flag laws alone will not solve the problem. Not even close. But because our culture has changed, our laws must change, too. This is not the 1950s, and these killers are not Boy Scouts with 22s.

If we can address even a fourth of the issue—while we’re tackling the long-term issues of a society out of balance—we must try.

There might even be a fringe benefit.

In order to produce any significant change, leaders would have to shake off their party-regulated stupors, to re-think and broaden their agendas, to focus on caring for their fellow humans more than scoring political points. And that might just be…

The most significant change of all.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
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53 Responses to The 32 Second Killing Spree

  1. Heidi Viars says:

    Thanks, Mitch, for this. I have had a discussion with my 20 year old yesterday about this. I am hopeful for this next generation. It’s still made up of strong, intelligent, young people who are not afraid to fight for their world. Our job is not to hand down our old ideas, but encourage them to be bold and stand up for theirs. We must encourage them to be free in their thinking and to NEVER EVER blindly follow agendas and propagandas.
    … and most importantly …. pray for them.

    Liked by 7 people

  2. CJ Hartwell says:

    Daring post, Mitch, and so thoughtful and thought-provoking. If only people would get past their ideology and Facebook memes, maybe we could get some real reform happening.
    Thank you for writing this. I hope many share it — I will.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. bornagain732 says:

    We need a heart change- people that want to kill will use anything

    Liked by 4 people

  4. John Eli says:

    You couldn’t have said it better.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Concealed handgun is no match for someone with an automatic weapon.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Relax... says:

    We need one less (archaic!) Amendment.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Yes, we need a change. People I knew were in Gilroy, near the shooter. They got out fine, but unless we make changes – it happens again next week.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. revruss1220 says:

    Amen. Perfectly put.
    In addition to these highly publicized national events, there was a single gunfire death in Kansas City Friday night that is still haunting me. The 25-year old daughter of a good friend and fellow United Methodist pastor was downtown at an art/music festival when she was shot in the head and killed while waiting in line at a food truck. A young man got into an argument and just pulled out a gun and started firing randomly into the crowd. It has been a rough, rough week.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Bill Sweeney says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Mitch. I am so glad that the police arrived so quickly, he could have killed and injured 100+ people if he only had two or three minutes.
    The frustrating thing is, as it was in this case, there were so many red flags leading up to the shooting.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. John Sayers says:

    Thanks, Mitch well though out, well said. I plan to share this with others.
    your highschool friend John

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Kim Smyth says:

    You are right, it’s been a rough, rough week. I don’t know what the answer is, but I know that someone should have seen the signs and stopped this kid and the others…such young, clearly disturbed men! Is social media driving all this? If so, I’m willing to give it up, however, in our case (as writers/bloggers) it’s a good tool for getting the stories out there that are important. Again, I don’t know what else to do but pray.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. CJ Hartwell says:

    Reblogged this on Feeding on Folly and commented:
    I rarely repost things from other bloggers… now that I think about it, I’m not sure I ever have. But sometimes things happen in the world and I want to write about them, I try to write about them, but the words won’t come. Then someone like Mitch comes along and writes them perfectly. So please, in the wake of yet more shootings, let’s put away our biases and flippant opinions and listen to reason. 
    Take it away Mitch… 

    Liked by 1 person

  13. These kind of tragedy’s are picking up steam and happening with even greater frequency. If we can’t get the action we seek from the people who claim to represent us (without them always thrusting the NRA backed arguments and antiquated reasoning in our faces) then there’s only one reasonable way to create change. Vote, and be sure to vote those who are obviously refusing to act on gun legislation out of office in 2020! Most of them have been up there doing nothing for far too long anyway.That is, if it isn’t already too late to get rid of them, seeing as Russia has pretty much been given a green light to interfere in our elections without certain leaders acting to stop it. Notice, they always seem to have another excuse for doing nothing? I think we all know who’s guilty here, but are we going to exercise our voice collectively, and let those who do nothing about it know that we won’t stand for it anymore? Or, are we just going to continue to watch the Dayton’s, El Paso’s, and Sandy Hooks continue to happen—say nothing of the inner city killings by gunfire? Because, if that’s what we intend to do, then we’re going to continue to see nothing get done—because the corrupt NRA is in the back pockets of our corrupt politicians. Inevitably, this will eventually catch up with us all folks—and much sooner than you all think. Then it will be one of us or our family members, who will be lying out there in some public place shot full of bullets, laying in a pools of blood for 24 hours or more while the authorities have to investigate, yet another crime scene of mass murder. When in truth, the real people responsible of those murders, ill continue to sit and do nothing in Washington. It’s our country folks. So, when are we going to all stand up and do something about it? Is this the kind of country we want to live in, really? :O(

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Rhonda says:

    I’ve been feeling like a jerk because the primary writing I’ve been working on is carefree and maybe a bit self-indulgent; I think perhaps I should have focused my writing on this topic. It boggles the mind, doesn’t it? I so appreciate how you put your thoughts together in this post. This is such a very deep and complex problem, but it is crystal clear to me that we, the American public; the voters, whatever “side” they believe they are on, deserve and need one thing from our nation’s leaders: ACTION. They must do something now!

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s well said, Rhonda. However, I would also like to say that you shouldn’t feel too badly about working on the more carefree stuff. With all the bad news out there (and aren’t we all feeling overwhelmed by it?), there is still an awful lot of good people out there trying to do good things for others, too. And we all need to see some of the fun and carefree stuff to help us through the dark times, because without that carefree stuff, we’re forced to dwell only on the negative. So, I welcome your carefree stuff, and please don’t feel guilty about it. 😀

      Liked by 3 people

      • Rhonda says:

        Wow. Thank you so much. I think I needed to hear that. Thing is, life is awfully good for me lately. Maybe I deserve it and maybe I don’t. That’s up to the Creator. Tonight I told my Hubs that I wasn’t up for watching the news ad nauseum like we’ve been doing for like the last 72 hours. Hoping we can find something lighter. We need to laugh sometimes or we will become overwhelmed. I think it’s part of self-care.

        Liked by 1 person

      • You are so right, and I understand what you’re saying. My wife and I watch the news regularly, and unfortunately, it’s their job to report it and keep us up to speed on what’s going on (and I can appreciate that, but as a human-being it can sometimes be a little overwhelming. So, taking a step back and trying something a bit more lighthearted can help s take the strain off of what’s going on, giving us a chance to put it all in perspective. Keep up with that self-care, it’s so important. Wishing you only the best. ‘O)

        Liked by 2 people

  15. trE says:

    “If we can address even a fourth of the issue—while we’re tackling the long-term issues of a society out of balance—we must try.

    There might even be a fringe benefit.”

    Except change, and this would be a major change, tends to scare people. Oh, but we need it in the worst way. *sighs*

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Sad to say but even with strict gun laws in Australia, we have had at least to mass shooting this year.

    The laws do help but sadly illegal guns get into the hands of these criminals.

    I don’t know what else to say except that my prayers are with all those affected.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. hawk2017 says:

    No. He shouldn’t.


  18. Well said Mitch. I’m so tired of the same arguments against any meaningful legislation, when they are simply stalling till the current stories die down and something else takes it place. We’ll never know how many lives could have been saved if we had put difference aside and looked for a solution we could all live with – literally “live” with.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Fleur McMorrow says:

    Tired of the too much talk, and no action that stops the shootings.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Francina says:

    it’s to sad for words…

    Liked by 1 person

  21. smzang says:

    “But because our culture has changed, our laws must change, too. This is not the 1950s, and these killers are not Boy Scouts with 22s.”

    That says it all. I can’t think any thinking person in the universe could disagree.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Yes laws must change immediately

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Ann Coleman says:

    Well said, Mitch! I get so tired of the partisan bickering and posturing, with one side saying passing stricter gun laws will end all the killing immediately and the other side saying that it won’t make a bit of difference as long as people want to kill other people so why bother? And so few people daring to state the obvious: making assault weapons illegal will help lessen these incidents (and there’s no logical reason for anyone to have one), so by all means let’s ban them. Preferably yesterday. But until we can better treat the mentally ill and rachet back the hate, there will still be some mass killings. We have SO much work to do to make the world a safer place for everyone…..

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Have to agree with your point all the reactive legislation will not and cannot prevent such tragedies from transpiring. The problem is much deeper than the mere implements of terror.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Pingback: Mass Distraction | Life In A Word

  26. A. L. Kaplan says:

    What? You expect our elected officials to do what is best for the country instead of politics and the NRA?

    Liked by 1 person

  27. kevinashton says:

    The right to bear arms should not include automatic and semi-automatic rifles. These weapons are not for hunting or protecting a person’s home, they are for slaughtering people, simple. As a person who lived in and around Washington DC for a dozen years, I am so saddened that Americans seem to have forgotten about common sense. Banning assault weapons and making all gun owners take mandatory mental health and background check would lessen the number of innocent people who get killed. Nowhere else in the world is there a democratic country where you can buy guns as if you buying candy.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. pvcann says:

    Well said, too many seem bogged down in egoist and defensive reaction rather than looking for the positives in reform. I don’t live in the U.S. but looking in from outside it seems like a madness has overtaken your country not so much in the killings (horrific as that is) no, the inability to respond staggers me.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. pvcann says:

    O, and just a thought, if you have rights – surely you have commensurate responsibility? Feeling fairly smug down here in Oz as we aren’t stuck with the right to bear arms and we now have nationally agreed gun control.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Emperor Publishing says:

    Mitch, thank you for even caring. Dayton is my hometown. I have a lot of friends and family who live there and the city has been through a lot in the last few months. I ask everyone to please keep the city in your prayers.

    Liked by 1 person

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