This editorial appeared in The (Raleigh) News & Observer.
Maybe there are no answers. Perhaps the unspeakable havoc wreaked by gunmen in separate incidents coast to coast amounts to horrid coincidence. But still, a country is unsettled. Are these shootings the manifestation of despair over personal problems, perhaps related to the anguish some feel in the midst of an economic crisis? Or, are they isolated episodes reflecting mental imbalances that simply exploded within weeks of each other?
North Carolina was the scene of one such abomination, the shooting deaths of eight people at Pinelake Health and Rehab in Carthage on March 29. A police officer shot and wounded the killer and ended the assault. On that same day, a man in Santa Clara, Calif., killed his two children and three other relatives before killing himself. His wife was critically injured. On March 21, four Oakland, Calif., police officers were shot and killed after a traffic stop. The shooter was killed by SWAT officers. On March 10, in two counties in Alabama, a man killed 10 people, including his mother, four relatives and the wife and child of a local sheriff's deputy. He killed himself.
And Friday, a gunman in Binghamton, N.Y., killed 13 people and himself at a center full of immigrants taking a citizenship class. Then, on Saturday, three Pittsburgh police officers were killed answering a domestic disturbance call. The killer was said to be despondent over losing his job and thought the Obama administration was going to ban guns.
The Binghamton community center shooter also was reported to be upset over the loss of his job.
To read the complete editorial, visit The (Raleigh) News & Observer.