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Eight and Eight: Equal death tolls from a mass shooting and a vehicular attack

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Texas had an utterly horrible weekend. First, there was a mass shooting attack at a mall in Allen, TX. Then yesterday, an attacker ran over and killed migrants waiting at a bus stop in Brownsville, TX.

There was wall-to-wall coverage over the weekend in the news media about the shooting. Social media, in all its glory, had uncensored videos of the victims that were shared widely thanks to the gore voyeurism that exists in society.

CNN’s reported on the Allen, TX attack:

8 killed and 7 wounded in Texas mall shooting. The gunman is also dead

Eight people were killed in a shooting at an outlet mall near Dallas, and seven victims are being treated at trauma facilities, officials said Saturday night. The gunman, who authorities believe was acting alone, is also dead.

Allen, Texas, Fire Chief Jonathan Boyd said that at least nine people were sent to hospitals. “Of those that we transported, two have since died. Three are in critical surgery, and four are stable,” said Boyd.

A Dallas-area medical group says it was treating victims as young as 5 years old.

Here’s CNN’s report on the Brownsville, TX attack:

Death toll increases to 8 after car plows into a crowd in front of a Texas shelter that was housing migrants

A driver plowed into a group outside a shelter that had been housing migrants in a Texas border town on Sunday, leaving eight people dead – including several immigrants – and close to a dozen injured, authorities say.

Authorities in Brownsville, Texas say they got a call around 8:30 am CT about a Land Rover that hit multiple people who were waiting at a bus stop across the street from the Bishop Enrique San Pedro Ozanam Center, a non-profit homeless shelter that has been helping house migrants. Authorities say it’s unclear whether the crash was intentional.

Seven people were found dead at the scene and 10 were taken to hospitals, Martin Sandoval, a Brownsville police spokesperson, told CNN. Later Sunday, an eighth person died due to injuries from the crash, Sandoval told CNN.

Both incidents are equally horrible because they resulted in the deaths of innocents. Both incidents resulted in the same number of deaths: eight human beings respectively.

“It’s the guns!” is a popular refrain from the gun grab lobby that swoops in to capitalize every single time there’s a mass casualty event involving guns. They have their prepared scripts and talking points, pre-written fundraising emails that go out every time there’s a gun involved.

But as the equal death tolls in both attacks shows, the tool or technology used in the attack is less pertinent than the individual perpetrating the attack and the evil intent or the madness that’s in the attacker’s heart and mind.

This is not the first time a vehicle has been used in an attack.

The 2018 Toronto van attack took the lives of 11 people, and injured another 15. The 2016 Berlin Christmas market attack resulted in the deaths of 12 people and injuries for 55 people. The 2016 Nice attack on Bastille Day ended with 86 deaths and 434 injured.

Gun controllers’ focus on guns is misguided. The 2014 Isla Vista attacks involved a combination of a knife, a car, and a gun, with 3 victims stabbed and 3 victims shot. But gun controllers’ focus is on the gun. The gun industry liability laws they helped pass in various states would mean that the gun manufacturer could be sued, but not the knife maker, or BMW, the car manufacturer in this particular case.

As the tragic events over the weekend show, the tool is irrelevant and it’s the perpetrators that need to be the focus on preventing violence. Patterns of their behavior need to be studied if societal violence is to be curtailed in the future.

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