A University of Georgia professor apparently shot and killed his wife and two other people at a community theater group's reunion Saturday, then dropped the couple's two children off at a neighbor's and fled.
Athens-Clarke County police said they have local, regional and national alerts out for George Zinkhan, 57, an endowed marketing professor at the school's Terry College of Business.
Zinkhan was not at the theater event initially, Holeman said, but when he arrived, he got into "a disagreement" with his wife. He left the scene -- police believe to his car, where his children were waiting -- and returned with two handguns.
This is yet another sad story that perfectly illustrates some of our most common, and most debated themes.
Gun availability. Whenever someone decides to kill in the heat of an argument or in a rageful fit or on the spur of the moment, just like when someone concludes that suicide is the answer while home alone in the nadir of depression, gun availability is critical. What should be done about that is another question, but I submit that in this particular case we have another example in which the shooter's mini arsenal, which was readily available in the car, made the difference.
Gun flow. Here's another case of a presumably law abiding gun owner turning bad. There was no indication that he was anything other than a normal guy who was exercising his 2nd Amendment right to self protection - at least that's what some people say the 2nd Amendment is all about. I and many others are not so sure. The gun flow in this case is the hidden one, the one which concerns itself more with people than weapons. But, just like its big brother, the flow of stolen or improperly sold guns, this type of gun flow is continual.
Concealed Carry on campus. The pro-gun folks say that allowing concealed carry on college campuses would be helpful in thwarting school shootings. I admit they have a good argument, but here's an example of how disaster would follow. Allowing professors and older students to carry on campus presumes that they can be trusted to manage their guns responsibly. This is too big a presumption for the simple reason that people are people, even gun owners, even gun owners with the Concealed Carry license.
There are a couple of fascinating twists to this tragic story, particularly that unlike some of the high profile shootings lately, he didn't shoot the kids as well. It was reported that he drove them to a neighbor's immediately after killing their mother. Lucky kids, or are they?
"It appeared he and his wife were having problems," police Capt. Clarence Holeman said.
Two other people were wounded by ricocheting bullets, Holeman said, but did not identify them. At least 20 people were in attendance at the event, he said.
After making that unintentional joke about their "having problems," the police captain provided an interesting piece of information we don't often hear. This is called collateral damage. When it's less than fatal it often gets overlooked, not only in criminal shootings but in the so-called defensive uses of guns. I would imagine people who are suddenly shot by ricocheting bullets might suffer terribly for a long, long time both physically and emotionally. This is part of gun violence too.
What's your opinion? Did you notice in the story that when he decided to kill his wife he had to go out to his car to get the guns, the car in which his two young children were waiting? I suppose the weapons could have been locked in the glove compartment, but still it makes you wonder.
Do you agree with me about gun availability plays a part in many of these tragedies? Wouldn't it be possible to agree with that and still maintain your gun-rights position?
Please feel free to leave a comment.