In Texas this weekend, yet another mad shooter killed a number of people by rifle fire. I say “mad”, because, while the individual was not assessed as to his mental stability, his act beggars belief. Equally astounding is the frequent occurrence of such events in the USA. Of course, lobbying by the NRA means that rifles are readily available.
By contrast in the UK, it was decided that if a gun was readily available it became the source of injury or death during an escalated, violent argument. If the weapon is only a knife or another weapon of some kind death is not inevitable.
What intrigues me about the US gun incidents is that frequently the killer is himself killed as part of the situation, or “death by cop” as a friend called it. The suicide seems intentional, or if not planned, internal mental pressures for the killer spontaneously outweigh rationality. As such, the situation largely resembles that of extremist Islamic terrorists in the west. With one exception however: the Islamic terrorist is spurred on by a mistaken interpretation of his religion. The US gun murderer seems to seek infamy posthumously; also the number of deaths he causes around him seems a little the death of a Pharaoh in ancient Egypt, bodies buried with him to assist his journey in the afterlife.
I do not seek in any way to romanticise such individuals; clearly, work needs to be done urgently to assess the mental stability of anyone attempting to buy or possessing a rifle. Currently, the US system seems unwilling to take this necessary step, being hindered by the effective political lobbying by the NRA.