Friday, August 15, 2008

Arkansas Shooter

The New York Times reports on the tragic fatal shooting of the chairman of the Arkansas Democratic Party, Bill Gwatney, at its headquarters in Little Rock.

The police also recovered a computer, 14 firearms described by the police as hunting weapons, and two sets of keys with the emblems of the car dealerships owned by Mr. Gwatney’s family. Mr. Johnson, 50, died in a shootout with the police after the killing.

To me it seems like Mr. Timothy D. Johnson is one of the ones I've written about before who should not own guns, let alone 14 of them. Is that normal anyway, for a hunter? It seems excessive to me.

My sympathies are with all the victims: Bill Gwatney and his family, of course, Timothy Johnson, victim of his own mental illness and the Little Rock police response, and the policemen who killed him in a shootout. That must be difficult to live with, especially if their response was excessive. I remember once years ago, a policeman went berserk, took some hostages and started shooting up the neighborhood. His colleagues shot him a couple times in the legs and took him to the hospital to get the treatment he so obviously needed. Ever since then, I wonder about these so-called shootouts with the police.

1 comment:

  1. Mike,

    That article didn't mention it but one of the other bloggers pointed out that he was on anti-depressants. Maybe that might be something to investigate, but how do you get people to voluntarily or involuntarily to give up their rights when they go on anti-depressants?

    As far as the number of firearms, that really isn't excessive, especially for someone in competition sports. Probably had a couple of hunting rifles, a couple of shotguns, for hunting, a couple of pistols, etc. Then often as a person get involved in competitions they buy better and better equipment. Start off with an introductory rifle, move up to a mid grade, finally buy the best you can. It's easy to see how a person could accumulate a dozen guns or more.

    Remember also, often that number includes legacy firearms. I have 2 pistols that I got from my dad. I'll never sell them. Many people have firearms that never leave the gun safe because of reasons like this.

    This is the area that I hate, we have enough information to talk about but not enough information to know anything definitive.

    I do know that anti-depressants are hitting my radar as more trouble then is being reported in the media. It's something that is often reported but never linked as the cause of the problems. I wonder how much of the trouble is related to the underlying mental illness and how much is related to the drugs used to treat the illness.

    Bob S.