Jordan Benefiel | Staff Writer
Jennifer Palacios, center, biological mother of 14-year-old Annabelle Pomeroy, who died in a mass shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, is comforted by her son, Timothy Rodriguez, left, and her mother, Diana Palacios, at a memorial service in Sutherland Springs on Nov. 6. | Photographer: Jay Janner | The Associated Press
The gun control debate is heating up again after the latest horrific mass shooting.
A couple weeks ago, the deadliest mass shooting on U.S. soil took place in Las Vegas, and nothing involving gun control was initiated.
Now here we are again, faced with another tragic shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas. On Nov. 5, Devin Kelley walked into Sutherland Springs’ First Baptist Church and opened fire.
He killed a total of 27 people, ages ranging 18 months to 77, with half of his victims being children, making this shooting the largest in Texas’ history.
The police have confirmed that the attack was not racially or religiously motivated. People close to Kelley described him as unwell and disturbed.
He was dishonorably discharged from the military for domestic abuse, an offense that should have barred him from buying guns.
Despite his being able to acquire an AR-566 as well as some smaller firearms with his discharge record, he initially went to the church to kill his mother-in-law, according to police reports that threatening text messages had been sent to her by him prior to the attack.
The pro-gun control activists and politicians are calling for more stringent background checks for firearm consumers, preventing people with mental illnesses from purchasing and owning guns.
Common sense laws around gun control are, well, common sense, and the pro-gun right people know that. That’s why their usual responses are short on facts and full of emotion. However, in this case, there’s a factor that they feel somewhat vindicates their rhetoric, specifically that the only thing that can stop a bad person with a gun is a good person with a gun.
Shortly after the church shooting, Kelley was stopped after a bystander shot him in the leg and torso as he was fleeing the crime scene, leading pro-gun proponents such as the NRA to prop him up as their hero.
When asked about gun suppporters’ views on gun control in cases like the church shooting, Kennedy Peace, a first year strategic communications major, said, “Even though Malcolm X once said, ‘Sometimes you have to pick the gun up to put the gun down,’ I disagree. I believe violence only brings temporary results. So, instead of stopping a bad person with a gun by having a good person with a gun, I think that there needs to be action taken at the source of the problem, which, believe it or not, is not solely about the gun, but the person behind the trigger.”