Monday, March 03, 2008

Tragedy

Remember, guns don’t kill people, people kill people. But it’s uncanny how often they use guns to do it.
A gunman wearing a jacket and tie wordlessly and randomly opened fire inside a Wendy's during the lunchtime rush Monday, killing a firefighter who'd gone back to fetch his child's toy and wounding five other diners. He then turned the gun on himself.

"This was not a robbery. He didn't demand anything...," said Paul Miller, a Palm Beach County sheriff's spokesman. "Looks like this was just another random shooting like we've seen around the United States."

The 42-year-old victim, a Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue lieutenant, had met his wife and child at the restaurant, Deputy Fire-Rescue Chief Steve Delai said. The family had just left, but the man returned to retrieve a toy his child had left behind and was shot in the back as he stood at the counter, Delai said.

"Our officer probably didn't even see him," Delai said, adding that the man's wife and child were still in the parking when the shooting broke out.

Three of the survivors were in critical condition, sheriff's spokeswoman Teri Barbera said. Two others had minor injuries, including one person who was injured while running away.

Motorists at the drive-thru window fled, some leaving their vehicles running. Several people were carried from the restaurant on stretchers. Authorities did not identify the shooter or the other victims.

"I just saw a lady with a little boy in her arms come running out screaming, 'Somebody's shooting!'" said Sandra Jackson, who had been getting gas across the street. The woman said her husband was still inside, said Jackson, 43, of Palm Springs.

The mayhem unfolded just after noon during the lunch hour rush at the eatery on a major suburban road lined with strip malls, car dealerships and fast food restaurants, about five miles from downtown West Palm Beach. A billboard advertising an upcoming gun show stands just behind the Wendy's.
Don’t forget, folks, the ability of any mental defective to acquire a gun is what makes this country the safest place in the world.

I really hope I don’t find out this shooter was off his medications because his insurance company canceled his coverage and that the insurance company employee who canceled his policy got a bonus for doing it. Unfortunately, that’s entirely possible.

Insane gun policies and the lack of universal healthcare is not a good combination.

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