Topsail Gun Gal: Are There Monsters Among Us?
Anthony McRae, the 43-year-old man who shot and killed 3 college students and critically wounded 5 more on the campus of Michigan State University, was described by his own father as a man who had demons inside. A troubled man, who apparently had a violent past with his immediate family members and a disassociation with society, would spend hours a day locked in his room playing violent video games. His father stated that on several occasions he asked his son to get help and he would refuse. In 2019, Mr. McRae was found with a concealed weapon (a small handgun) and loaded magazine and was charged with a felony. If convicted of the charge, he would have been prevented from legally buying a firearm, but instead the charge was plead down to a misdemeanor.
Here was a person with known mental health and violence issues who, through a very common practice by the court system of reducing charges, would now be allowed purchase firearms in the future.
How about instead of always blaming firearms we hold those accountable who fail us in upholding the laws and rules that are already in place?
The new gun restrictions in Illinois have led to over 2,000 new lawsuits against the state being filed by private citizens and gun right groups. Gun buyers, as well as gun sellers, are confused by the unclear documentation regarding the changes. No law-abiding citizen wants to become a criminal by misunderstanding a rule, but on the flip side, no rule or law should be so difficult to understand that private citizens cannot understand it.
President Biden wants an “assault weapons ban” but what does he really mean by that? In some of his speeches he refers to semi-automatic pistols. Does that make sense since 90% of handgun owners have a semi-automatic pistol? Perhaps the President’s advisers should do a better job of informing him of what he is referring to. Would any of his “bans” have prevented the shooting at Michigan State University? The answer is no. The current restrictions against 18-, 19- and 20-year-old gun buyers would not have applied since the man was 43 years old and not purchasing a long gun. Would the extended magazine ban have played a role in preventing the tragedy? The answer again is no. As of now the pistols used had standard magazines, not extended.
Perhaps if the court system worked correctly and mental health help was something people were not ashamed to ask for, this tragedy would not have happened.
Mr. McRae’s father stated that he did not allow firearms in his home and did not know his son had one and criticized the violent video games his son immersed himself in that involved lots of violence and killing.
Remember knowledge is power, accountability is vital to a healthy society, and monsters do walk among us.
Anthony Dwayne McRae | Credit: Michigan Dept. of Corrections