UPDATE: As usual, the media news stories got fundamental facts wrong here. Of particular interest, half the people killed here were stabbed to death. Also, you won’t hear this in the news, the magazines that the killer used were also apparently limited to holding no more than 10 rounds (note that the Sheriff said that all the magazines were legal under California law). Obviously neither point fits the gun control check list. My guess is that because of these points the news media interest in this story will be relatively short lived.
UPDATE: The Santa Barbara Sheriff’s office had interviewed the killer before the attack after a report from a relative that he might be a danger to himself. In the press conference by the Sheriff’s office, it was described how officers interviewed the killer and did not believe him to be a danger. As was true in Newtown, Fort Hood, Aurora, and other attacks, the point here is again how incredibly difficult it is to identify these mass killers in advance. It is so much easier to identify these problems after the fact.
Original Post: From Fox News:
A crazed gunman went on a shooting rampage in a popular Santa Barbara student enclave, killing six people and injuring seven others before being found dead in his car, in what authorities said was a “premeditated mass murder.”
Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said early Saturday the person who carried out “this atrocity” was “severely mentally disturbed.”
Fox News confirmed that several of the dead were killed at a sorority house.
Brown said that investigators were familiar with a YouTube video titled “Retribution” and were looking into whether the person in the video was linked to the killings, KEYT-TV reported on its website.
In a rambling rant, the young man in the video promises to take revenge on sorority girls who had rejected him over the years. “Tomorrow is a day of retribution,” the man in the video says into the camera while sitting in the driver’s seat of a luxury car. . . .
Santa Barbara County, where the attack occurred, is essentially a gun-free zone. As of February 2014, there were only 53 individuals with a concealed handgun permit in Santa Barbara County. With an adult population of 337,000, that is a rate of just 0.016 percent. The few people allowed to carry are undoubtedly politically well connected individuals who were unlikely to have been in the part of town where this attack occurred. As we have seen over and over again, these multiple victim killers deliberately select locations where victims are unlikely to be able to defend themselves.
Concealed carry is a hot topic in California right now. Earlier this year three judge panel decision struck down San Diego’s virtual ban on concealed carry, but this has been appealed to the full 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which is now considering whether to uphold this decision. One can only hope that their decision comes soon.
Fortunately, the police response time was fairly fast. From NBC Los Angeles:
Approximately six minutes after the initial call was received, the driver shot at responding deputies and deputies returned gunfire. The driver fled in his vehicle, encountered another deputy, exchanged gunfire and fled again.
The driver eventually crashed into a parked vehicle. When deputies approached the vehicle, they found the lone occupant dead from an apparent gunshot wound.
About 10 minutes passed between the time officials received the first 911 call to the time the suspect was determined to be dead at the scene, Brown said. . . .
Here is another interesting note from the NBC discussion: “The mass killing comes about 13 years after a former UC Santa Barbara student drove his car through a crowd of people in Isla Vista, killing four.”
It is also clear that the killer here planned to commit suicide after his attack: “He said he planned to kill himself after the attack because he didn’t want to ‘suffer being captured and sent to prison.’”
Here is a chilling video from the killer in Santa Barbara. A couple questions: Is a ban on carrying guns going to stop this killer from carrying a gun? Given the planning that he evidently put into this attack, what would have had to be done to stop him from getting weapons? Obviously, as the NBC discussion indicates, there are many ways to kill other people.
Note that out of Europe today: Jews apparently targeted in shooting at Brussels Jewish Museum: three dead, one seriously wounded. Yet another place where victims aren’t able to defend themselves.