(Fort Hood, TX) – This Texas army base found itself reeling again as it faced its second on-base shooting in the past five years. And, like all mass shootings in the United States, the cause is undergoing close examination, heavy scrutiny, and will likely be forgotten in a matter of weeks.
Thirty-four-year-old Army Specialist Ivan Lopez, an Iraq war veteran, opened fire yesterday with a recently purchased .45-caliber Smith & Wesson semiautomatic pistol, leaving 16 people wounded and killing four – including himself.
Officials stressed that the shooting was not an act of terror. Some disagreed with this assessment. “The guy was armed,” said a bystander, speaking on condition of anonymity. “The guy mowed down fellow soldiers. The complex was on lockdown for hours. People were scared. People were terrorized. So how is this not terrorism?”
Others blamed the propagation of guns for the carnage. “You’ve got lots of gun laws, but they’re unevenly enforced,” said an anti-gun proponent, speaking on condition of anonymity. “And they’re not tough enough. And there aren’t enough of them. We need more gun laws because the current lax laws allow anyone to go and buy a gun, and we’ve seen the results from that. Unfortunately, this won’t be the last time we see an incident like this.”
Still others blamed the country’s mental patients for the situation. “Once again, it’s easy to blame this on guns and demonize those who exercise their Constitutional rights,” said a spokesman for the National Rifle Association (NRA), speaking on condition of anonymity. “And, yes, guns have been involved in all these incidents. But they’re not to blame.
“Want to know who’s to blame? The average ordinary, everyday Americans who are psychotic and depressed and anxious, that’s who! All of these people on Prozac and Ambien and Celexa and Lamictal and Fluoxetine and Xanax – that’s who’s to blame!”
In spite of railing against the nation’s mentally ill, the anonymous NRA spokesman offered a solution to prevent any future mass shootings.
“Obviously, this comes down to the two constants at each shooting: guns and crazy people. We can’t outlaw guns because their use and ownership is guaranteed by the Constitution. But having crazies running around the country isn’t guaranteed by the Constitution. So the solution is clear: separate the nut-cases from the general population. Gun owners – embracing their constitutional rights – can then roam free and won’t have to be concerned about future mass incidents. I believe we should try this approach. It’s definitely worth a shot.”