US gun massacres are so common they rate only one day in the news cycle. Who, for example, remembers the Orlando Pulse nightclub shootings less than a year ago--the biggest gun massacre in US history?
The gun lobby and the pols in its pocket say after a mass shooting, "let's not legislate on fresh graves" to block any new gun laws in reaction to the deaths. But when the graves are no longer fresh, the press, public and lawmakers have forgotten about the bloodshed.
Last week, a gunman took the lives of an Ohio police chief and two nursing home employees at the Pine Kirk Care Center in Kirkersville, Ohio. Why? He wanted to get even with his estranged girlfriend, a nurse who worked there, and everyone else in the vicinity.
The Kirkersville nursing home shooting was eerily similar to another in 2009 in which the gunman was also seeking revenge against his estranged partner, a nurse who worked at the Pinelake Health and Rehabilitation Center Nursing Home in Carthage, North Carolina. The gunman killed eight and wounded two, including a responding police officer.
Neither events were a surprise. The Kirkersville gunman was found guilty in three separate domestic violence cases involving the nurse, Marlina Medrano, he killed. An egregious domestic abuser, he had been charged with beating, choking, kicking, stomping and attempting to run the nurse over with his car reported Campus Safety. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail for those incidents, but released less than three weeks later by Licking County Municipal Court Judge Michael Higgins. Wild guess: a woman judge would not have released him.
The Carthage, North Carolina murderer was widely known to be alcoholic and violent yet he was not a prohibited gun purchaser. In fact he used his legally purchased 12-gauge Winchester 1300 shotgun, .357 Magnum revolver and 22 Magnum semi-automatic pistol for the murders.
John Lott, the discredited pro-gun researcher, attributed the Pinelake massacre to it being a "gun-free zone." What? First of all, Lott, guns were not prohibited at the facility. (Nor did the "good guy with a gun" stop the murders.) But more importantly, how would infirm, bedridden nursing home residents defend themselves with guns?
Is Lott really saying if only the ailing and frail residents, hooked up to IVs, dialysis machines and ventilators had been armed--the murders wouldn't have happened?
Increasingly, gun-wielding domestic abusers kill everyone in proximity to their partner. In 2012, a gunman strode into an Orlando beauty salon his wife managed and fatally shot three, injuring his wife. The same year a gunman shot and killed the manager of a salon where his wife worked in Sioux Falls. Also that year, a gunman fatally shot his wife and two other women in a suburban Milwaukee salon.
Similar shootings in which bystanders were shot along with intended victim also occurred at salons in Georgia, Orange County and Miami.
The gun lobby appreciates the public's short memory of massacres. But if women regularly walked into bars and killed their husbands and everyone sitting next to him would the male-dominated gun lobby be as silent as it is about women's deaths? Or would it ask how women with histories of domestic abuse who were under orders of protection managed to get guns and kill?
(Article changed on May 25, 2017 at 20:38)