“Mass Shooting at Empire State Building,” the headlines blared.
“Two dead and nine wounded in rampage shooting,” we were told.
And these reports about the “mass shooting” almost always included some reference to this “latest mass shooting,” rekindling the debate over gun laws in our country. Even after it became apparent that the “gunman” had probably shot only one person, a former employer who he had threatened a year earlier – and that the rest of the victims were shot by police – the news stories and pundits continued to refer to this “latest mass shooting” and postulating on how politicians would or should respond.
According to New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, after the murderer had shot his victim repeatedly in the face and head, he calmly walked away. Two nearby police officers quickly responded and, when they challenged the suspect, he pointed his gun at them, but, Kelly said, he did not fire at them.
Witness accounts report that the two officers performed what is known in the shooting world as a “magazine dump,” rapidly emptying their guns in the general direction of the criminal, killing him and wounding all or most of the nine other victims. Thankfully, none of the wounds were thought to be life-threatening.
Even hours after it was clear that all or most of those wounded in the incident were actually shot by police, reporters and commentators continued referring to the “mass shooting” and equating the New York shooting with the recent tragedy in Aurora, Co., and the assault at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin. They frequently decried the nation’s lax gun laws as the obvious culprit, generating lively and inane debate in the comments sections of online news sources.
Opponents of gun rights spouted nonsense about the National Rifle Association and “gun nuts” wanting everyone to carry a gun, and how much worse the tragedy would have been if citizens had all started blasting away (like the police did). In response, misguided supporters of gun rights repeated idiotic claims about armed citizens putting an end to these kinds of atrocities.
Read more here.