An Alabama man who went on a shooting rampage in March, killing 10 people and himself, left a note saying he put his mother "out of her misery" and that "some of the people who made us suffer will pay," according to newly released police records.
Among the dead were family members and strangers gunned down at random, police said. McLendon's letter offered only this explanation: "For me I've been miserable for a long time and can't take it no more. "
McLendon tried to become a Marine and couldn't make it. He was discharged from basic training in October 1999 for "fraudulent entry," according to records found in the house. He apparently failed to disclose a chronic shoulder dislocation. In a warning letter, one superior officer wrote: "He needs to improve his physical strength and confidence. ... He does not appear mentally sharp."
He was hired as a police officer in 2003, but let go a month later for what police called "physical issues." These disappointments must have been awful to bear.
Investigators found 41 DVDs focused on shooting and weapons, with titles such as "Deadly Effects: What Bullets do to Bodies," "Handgun Workout" and "How to Handle and Fire Fully Automatic Weapons."
Police removed two loaded shotguns, two loaded pistols, 22 empty ammunition boxes, a knife, a bayonet, two bulletproof vests, a gas mask and survival gear from the house. They also found some pornography in a footlocker.
On his rampage, McLendon was armed with two assault rifles, and two pistols and a shotgun were found in his car. Police said he fired more than 200 rounds.
Do you think Michael McLendon might have been the type of gun enthusiast who was trying to compensate for his insecurities? Understandably, gun owners don't like this kind of talk, but this type of person does exist, does he not? For me the only question is how prevalent is he. If he represents a "significant" percentage, then I think we need to consider that lenient gun policies create problems by this very fact.
What's your opinion? Are the Michael McLendons of the world an anomaly? Are they rare? Or, do you think like I do, that this type is responsible for too much damage and a way needs to be found to prevent him from getting guns.
Please feel free to leave a comment.