A central Florida woman who fatally shot her son then killed herself at a shooting range wrote in suicide notes to her boyfriend that she was trying to save her son.
"I'm so sorry," Marie Moore wrote several times. "I had to send my son to heaven and myself to Hell."
She signed two of the notes "Failed Queen."
The ill-fated mother and 20-year-old son went to the shooting range where they rented guns. Video surveillance captured the entire episode. As the boy was taking aim, the mom fatally shot him in the back of the head before turning the gun on herself.
Charles Moore, the husband and father of the victims, told police that Marie Moore had a history of mental illness and had previously attempted suicide and been involuntarily committed to a mental hospital in 2002. She left two suicide notes.
"I'm sorry to do this in your place of business, but I had to save my son," one message said. "God made me a queen and I failed. I'm a fallen angel. He turned me into the anti-Christ."
Moore said she could have killed only herself but felt she had to "save" her son and do it in a public way so the world could also be saved. "Hopefully when I die, there will 1,000 years of peace."
The range requires that customers fill out a form with a series of questions, including whether they have ever been convicted of a felony or been declared mentally unstable. But it has no way to verify the information.
I remember reading that suicides are more common at shooting ranges than elsewhere. I guess in the numbed-out state we've allowed ourselves to degenerate into, a single shooting barely bakes the news anymore. The fact is there are over 100 fatal shootings per day. I say it's about time something be done.
This tragic story seems to be a combination of Christian Fundamentalism gone astray and easy access to guns. If a woman like that can fill out a form and get her hands on a gun, something is wrong. Would it be too much to require a stricter qualification process at shooting ranges? Would that infringe on people's rights?
Haven't there been suggestions along the lines of registering guns and registering shooters? Would that be a solution to prevent this type of situation? Why are common sense restrictions like that so difficult to enact? My theory is that the gun lobby crushes them before they can even get started. They do that on behalf of gun enthusiasts who believe any restrictions, even reasonable ones, would lead to a slippery slope, the bottom of which is total gun confiscation.
I believe they are mistaken about that. I believe the politicians and gun control activists who claim they don't want to take guns away from people are telling the truth. I don't believe there's a sinister conspiracy to trick gun owners into giving up their guns. I believe the gun control people when they claim they just want to find a way to minimize gun violence. But without the cooperation and assistance of the pro-gun folks, it will be very difficult and whatever improvements that are made will come at the cost of increased polarization, increased hard feelings, increased us-against-them mentality. That would be a shame.
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.