I am really bothered that almost anyone can still buy a gun and walk into a movie theater and just start shooting at innocent people who were just trying to enjoy themselves by going to a Grand 16 movie theater in Lafayette, LA to see “Trainwreck” starring Amy Schumer and Bill Hader. The shooter killed two people and wounded 9 other people. The shooter’s name is John Russel Houser who was a 59-year-old man from Alabama who had a history of mental illness and who has a criminal record for arson and who has a complaint for domestic violence. He was even ordered to be admitted in a mental hospital for stalking his daughter and other family members.
So the question is how did John Russel Houser get a gun legally? I thought there was a Federal database that is used nationwide when conducting background checks. In 2006, he applied for a gun permit in Russell City, AL and was turned down due to his prior arrest history. However, in February 2014 he walked into a pawn shop in Phenix City, AL and was able to buy a .40 caliber semiautomatic handgun which means he was approved for the gun permit that shouldn’t have never been approved! It sounds like to me that the Federal database isn’t being updated on a regular basis. It also means that we have more people like John Russel Houser in this country who are walking around with guns and just waiting for that moment to so some harm to innocent bystanders.
For years we have heard the back and forth on arguments about people having rights to own guns and the lawmakers saying that they are trying everyday to improve laws so people like John Russel Houser won’t get a permit or gun legally. I believe in people protecting their homes and themselves but we should all agree that we need tough laws on background checks even if that means waiting for a few weeks to get approved for a gun permit so the Federal employees can double-check your application! We really need to hold our lawmakers and state senators accountable to keeping their words on gun control! There has been too many innocent lives taken because of mistakes like not updating the Federal database in a timely manner. I am still lost on how in 2006 John Russel Houser couldn’t get a gun permit but in 2014 he cleared with no issues. Did the database get cleaned out is my question?
This man sounds like his mental issues were getting worse just by hearing how people described his behavior in the recent days before he killed innocent victims. He was staying at a Motel 6 in Lafayette, 10 minutes away from the movie theater. CNN is reporting that he was living off of money that his mother gave him which was about $5,000. A few days before the shooting he already spent up the money and went to Cracker Barrel restaurant to see if he could work and earn money, and even offered to sell his car for $600. People reported that he was weird and talking really scary. I blame the mental hospitals and our lawmakers for allowing people to get away with violence like this! I think anyone that is struggling with on-going mental health issues should be followed up on periodically basis. I think that the Federal database should be updated immediately when someone is admitted into a mental hospital or released.
I think if everyone was doing their job that I would not have a reason to be typing about Lafayette tonight. My heart goes out to the two women that were killed and who will be laid to rest on Monday, July 27th. The shooter also killed himself which is a tragedy too because he probably had a lot of demons he was mentally dealing with and he probably needed help or should have been kept in a facility where he would not be a danger to himself or to the 11 victims he hurt.
It also appears that movie theaters nationwide may want to take a longer look at their safety measures especially since someone can just walk into a movie theater and just start shooting people…maybe metal detectors! It’s sad that we can’t even go see a movie without thinking about possibly getting shot or killed while watching our favorite actor on the big screen. I would like to know more on what went wrong with the Federal database and what are our lawmakers doing to help the mentally ill in the future. We can’t track every mentally ill person until they get committed, commit a crime, or get arrested but we should be able to do better to track the ones already in the system!