Miami police on Monday released the names of five people killed in a murder-suicide over the weekend.
Police said Guillermo Lopez, 48, barged into a birthday party and fatally wounded four people, including his estranged wife, Lazara Mendez, 50.
Also killed: Mendez's daughter Nayla Canfux, 19; Francisco Casas, 27; and Casas' grandmother, Maria Lefran Christ, 77. Casas' connection to the Mendez family is unclear.
About 20 people were celebrating Casas' birthday -- he turned 27 on Sunday -- at the home in the 2800 block of Southwest 38th Court.
After the shooting, Lopez took off in a red pickup truck. He shot himself to death after setting his home and car on fire.
Unlike some of the recent cases we've discussed, here and here, this one does not seem to be in the same category. The others were supposedly tied to the economic crisis, the fact that the shooters had recently lost their jobs and could no longer support their families. That, of course, brings up some fascinating questions about men who think their families would be better off dead than without them. But that's another discussion.
Today's discussion is about the Miami man who seems to fit into that other all-too-common category: men who express rageful anger by killing people in crimes of passion. The weapon of choice in these cases is, not poison, not knives, not baseball bats, but firearms, of course.
Do you think there's a connection between the tremendous availability of firearms in American society and these bloody incidents? I do. I believe that if guns weren't so available, some, not all, but some of these incidents would be less costly and some wouldn't even happen at all.
Why do gun enthusiasts resist that idea so much? Why can't we agree on that and then talk about a solution? Is it because the pro-gun folks are afraid of what that solution might be?
What's your opinion?