Another mass shooting in the U.S.

April 10, 2023 • 10:15 am

This seems to happen about twice a week, and the last incident was this morning in Louisville, Kentucky.

A mass shooting at a bank in downtown Louisville, Kentucky, on Monday morning left five people dead inside the building and sent six people to a local hospital, police said.

The shooter is dead, police added.

The Louisville Metro Police said they responded to “an active aggressor” on the 300 block of East Main Street in downtown, adding “there are multiple casualties.” FBI Louisville described the incident as a shooting, and other officials urged residents to stay away from the area.

One of those shot was a police officer, according to preliminary information from a source with direct knowledge of the scene on the ground. The source said there were shots exchanged between the shooter and police during the incident.

I’ll be overseas as the details trickle in.

I see this as the inevitable result of lax gun laws, but of course others disagree. One friend tells me that the best solution to the problem is better mental health care. That seems risible to me because many shooters probably wouldn’t be diagnosed as mentally ill, or have no history of the condition that would keep them from getting a gun. Of course, if you define any mass shooter as mentally ill, the claim becomes a tautology.

The result of the “we can’t tighten gun laws” mentality is that this will keep up forever, with people wringing their hands and doing nothing but sending out “thoughts and prayers.”

16 thoughts on “Another mass shooting in the U.S.

  1. Line recently read in a Jack Vance story (Sjambak), which seems germane (to me, at least) to the whole gun control/mental health issue:

    “It is as well that the amok has no weapons other than his knife. Otherwise he would kill twenty where now he kills one.”

    1. Native amok fellow in Saskatchewan last year stabbed 10 people to death, including several in-laws and his partner-in-crime brother, (plus one elderly white guy) and wounded another 8. He drugged himself to death while the cops were boxing in his vehicle and running it into the ditch ending the manhunt. No shots fired, no guns drawn. Long rap sheet for violent crime usually while drunk or high but not acutely any crazier than normal for him in prodrome to the murders. An engaging smooth talker when sober, apparently. He was unlawfully at large when he went amok for the last time.

      I grant you that the lethality of the wounds would likely have been higher had he used a rifle but 10 killed out of 18 is still more lethal than battlefield wounds.

      The whole sad story is recapped here:

      If paywalled, try

      The case attracted some attention in these pages at the time as to motive. A long-time hardened criminal he seems to have had it in for his part-time wife and her family.. She survived likely because they had an altercation while she was driving him to what became the crime scene where he planned to sell cocaine on the Reserve. She got out of her car and he drove the rest of the way himself.

      I grant that reduced availability of guns of all types, particularly handguns, keeps the death rate down in incidents like this, but determined knife-wielders can do a lot of damage. Machetes are also popular among this demographic.

    2. An amok Native fellow named Myles Sanderson stabbed 10 people to death during a killing spree on and near the James Samson Cree Nation last year. He wounded another eight before dying of a drug overdose while the Mounties were running his vehicle into the ditch. No firearms involved.

      This isn’t to argue that lower prevalence of guns in Canada doesn’t make people like Sanderson less dangerous to people who let him get close to them. Just that edged weapons can be highly lethal in the hands of determined criminals.

      (A more informative comment has gone to moderation, perhaps because it had two links in it.)

    1. Surely “person”? Worse (for those who find comfort that “These things are done by “`other'” people), done by people “like” “us”.
      In America, your maiden Aunt Molly could do this, because she has easy access to repeat-firing weapons.

      1. Sorry, I am a little late here, but are you saying “gunperson”? That’s awfully PC, and the vast majority of mass murderers are men. I think “shooter” draws attention away from the fact that they always use a gun. The problem is the ready availability of guns and especially assault rifles. We must not let anyone hide or overlook that fact.

  2. If the US Supreme Court were to grant certiorari and affirm the federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision in United States v. Rahimi (2023), holding that the federal statute prohibiting persons under a domestic-violence injunction from possessing a firearm — the presence of a firearm during a domestic-violence incident increases by five-fold the chances that the incident will end in a homicide — I have a hard time seeing how any law meant to keep firearms preemptively out of the hands of someone posing a particularized threat of violence would pass constitutional muster under SCOTUS’s current, broad interpretation of Second Amendment rights.

    1. As you say, “If…”
      That hammering sound on your front door is the “distraction crew” from the “House Un-American Committee” detention squad”. Please don’t prolong your re-education by “recording” “evidence“.

  3. I find it quite odd that at the same time people are calling for these “assault weapon” bans, etc. – which cause only a tiny fraction of gun deaths – progressive DAs and prosecutors are increasingly eliminating firearm enhancements in violent crimes, refusing to prosecute illegal handgun possession by known felons, ending police programs designed to remove such guns from the streets, and downgrading crimes committed with guns (as long as nobody was actually shot) to misdemeanors punished only by probation (if that counts as a punishment) or “diversionary programs” (which can be skipped with no penalty), all for the sake of “equity”, to reduce racial disparities in incarceration.

    That is to say, they want to ban the types of guns that are only rarely used to kill people and whose owners tend to be more law-abiding than average, while campaigning against existing bans on guns illegally possessed by known criminals, who are overwhelmingly more likely than average to commit future crime. As the kids say, “make it make sense”.

    It seems that public safety increasingly plays second fiddle to “equity” considerations, which now trump almost everything else in progressive policy.

    1. … progressive DAs and prosecutors are increasingly eliminating firearm enhancements in violent crimes, refusing to prosecute illegal handgun possession by known felons, ending police programs designed to remove such guns from the streets, and downgrading crimes committed with guns (as long as nobody was actually shot) to misdemeanors punished only by probation (if that counts as a punishment) or “diversionary programs” (which can be skipped with no penalty) …

      Do you have some links handy for such policies adopted by specific prosecutors’ offices, Adam?

      1. When Alvin Bragg took office, he issued this memo that describes refusing to charge, offering division for, and downgrading various offenses. As for his current policies, consider this report of a criminal with a career spanning about 35 years and 90 “busts” (I’ll assume that means arrests). Despite repeatedly failing to show up in court or attend the diversionary programs he’s sentenced to, he keeps getting lowball bail amounts (e.g. $1), having felony robbery charges reduced to misdemeanors, and being sentenced to more diversionary programs. (Now, admittedly his case has no bearing on my comments about gun enhancements, but it certainly bespeaks a very soft approach to crime.)

        In Alameda County, California, DA Pamela Price’s new policies would reportedly make virtually all crimes (including many violent felonies) probation-eligible, make probation the default sentence for all probation-eligible crimes, and eliminate most sentencing enhancements. In Los Angeles County, George Gascón had similar policies. At the state level, Senate Bill 81 eliminated eliminating gang and firearm enhancements whenever they would “result in a discriminatory racial impact”, or relate to crimes committed by people who experienced “childhood trauma”, “victimization”, or “mental illness” (whose definitions are all quite broad), among other reasons. Editorials about it all talk about how they’ve gotta go because 90+% of people receiving gang and firearm enhancements are people of color.

        In Washington DC, the city council recently overrode the mayor’s veto to pass a sweeping sentencing reform bill that reportedly eliminated felony gun possession enhancements for armed robbers among many other things, also for reasons of “equity”, although Congress blocked it.

        In Washington State, house bill 1268 is virtually certain to pass and has a similar aim (sharply reducing penalties so as to reduce ‘disparate racial impact’). There’s a similar story in Ingham County, Michigan.

        Alas, I couldn’t find the one I remembered, but I think it was from another California county.

  4. The difficulty with tighter gun laws is that there are already too many guns in circulation in the USA. The genie is out of the bottle.

    Tighter gun laws might be desirable but only as a part of a much more ambitious plan to remove guns entirely. Good luck in recovering guns from criminals and the police.

  5. As risible as the republican call for “improving mental health” is when it comes to decreasing gun violence, okay, let’s do it. Let’s increase funding for (mental) healthcare, make therapy more available, more mental health institutions etc. Let’s actually provide care for the mentally ill people wandering US cities, let’s help the depressed young people, and so on. No downside to it, although I doubt republicans would actually want to do any of these things.

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