Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Paging the NRA

I drove by the area of Monday's shooting on the way home, but the street immediately in front of the police station was blocked off. Not because of any ongoing investigation, but rather as a crowd control measure. People were constantly streaming across the one main road that was open, parking their cars at a nearby shopping center and walking to the station to pay their respects. Meanwhile, officers were directing traffic to allow the pedestrians to safely pass.

It has often been said that DC and its surrounding suburbs are highly transient. People move in, briefly take government jobs, then move away again with each election cycle. But the outpouring of grief that is now taking place shows that not to be true. The people of Centreville and Chantilly are taking this outburst of violence almost personally, and that only happens when one has a sense of having put down roots in a community.

Meanwhile, police searched the home of the gunman and discovered another nine rifles inside, along with several boxes of ammunition, hunting knives, and a bayonet. That's in addition to the seven guns--including an AK-47--that he had with him when he began shooting.

This accumulation of weapons begs the question of how a troubled 18 year old could possibly have accumulated that much firepower. It also raises another point: What about his parents? Did they happen to notice anything unusual about their son, like his hobby of collecting deadly assault weapons? Shouldn't that sort of thing have sounded some warning bells?

So far police have been unable to question them. The couple has reportedly gone into seclusion, though they did issue a brief statement yesterday through their attorney.

So far the National Rifle Association has been strangely silent on this incident. That's surprising, since their national headquarters is located in Fairfax a mere eight miles from the scene of Monday's violence. You might think they would have something to say, explaining why they continue to support the right of any and all Americans, regardless of their mental health or lack thereof, to own machine guns.

0 thoughtful ramblings: