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In Kalamazoo, Killings Show Alarming Routine

The topic of gun control has been disputed time and time again, yet stricter laws continue to face opposition. As a result, the progression of these policies can at best be described as stagnant. This stationary state might be more reasonable if newer laws weren’t necessary, but as was demonstrated just last week in Kalamazoo, Michigan, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

On Saturday, February 20, former Uber driver, Jason Dalton, was arrested after killing six people and injuring two in a shooting rampage. The shootings took place at three different locations, and Dalton continued to transport passengers in between the attacks. He had been an Uber driver for less than a month, yet he had passed the company’s obligatory background checks. Some of Dalton’s passengers of Saturday night reported that his driving was erratic and dangerous, but there had been no previous complaints about Dalton or his driving capabilities.

What makes this crime even more chilling is that the attacks were seemingly random. None of the victims had any connection to Dalton, and he had no clear motive. Even after admitting to his connection with the shootings, he refused to state why he would have committed such a heinous act. After being charged on six accounts of murder, he declared that he would prefer to remain silent. In addition, Dalton had no criminal record nor previous cases of declines in mental health, even though the rampage resembled a lapse from sanity.

In the follow-up New York Times article about Dalton, it stated that President Obama “weighed in, as he has many times after mass shootings, arguing  . . .  that it should be harder for troubled people to obtain guns. ‘I’ve got to assume all of you are as tired as I am of seeing this stuff happen in your states,’ he said.”

While I agree with President Obama about needing stricter laws pertaining to guns, there is a different part of the quote I found more telling of the growing mass shooting predicament in the United States. The article said that he appeared “as he has many times after mass shootings.” That is a phrase concerning our country that should not be true. The fact that the President has had to appear multiple times after multiple mass shootings is unacceptable. Only four months ago, President Obama spoke out after the mass shooting in Colorado Springs, saying “We can’t let it become normal . . . Enough is enough.” I believe most people would agree that we cannot allow mass shootings to become a routine part of our lives.

Unfortunately, it seems that we already have.


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