In the wake of the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, the shooting at Lone Star College in Texas last week served to keep these types of incidents fresh in the national spotlight. However, unlike Newtown, the tragedy at Lone Star College is being given less attention as more of the facts come to light.
According to investigators two individuals, Jody Neal and Trey Foster, had bumped into each other and an altercation ensued where Trey Foster opened fire resulting in three people being wounded. At this time, all three shooting victims are expected to recover, and Trey Foster was arrested days later in Plano, Texas.
Initial reports indicate that there was a shootout between two gunmen that exchanged fire, with 22 year-old Carlton Berry being one of the shooters. The other shooter, now known to be Trey Foster, fled the scene but again was apprehended days later. As it turns out, there was only one shooter involved, not two.
On Monday, charges were dropped against Carlton Berry after investigators concluded that he did not participate in the shooting. Initially Berry had been identified as a shooter by eyewitnesses according to police, which was enough for an arrest. As it turns out, Berry was shot from behind in the leg/buttocks and was arrested while being treated at the hospital. What is ironic is that some news outlets had also reported that Berry shot himself in the leg.
Further investigation reveals that the sole shooter, Trey Foster, purchased his gun legally at a local Gander Mountain store, and even applied for a Texas CHL license to carry his handgun. Foster to this date had not been approved for his CHL because the background investigation stalled when it found Foster had three misdemeanor convictions on his record, despite completing the required concealed-carry training course. In essence, Foster not only ignored the concealed-carry handgun laws, but he also violated gun-free zone laws for educational institutions.
This incident highlights how quickly our news media, in the rush to report the latest shooting, is not so much concerned with accuracy in reporting, but with grabbing our attention and highlighting an agenda. Was this incident an example of violence in American society? Absolutely. But was this a shootout between two individuals that highlights a country that has an out of control gun culture? As it turns out, no it wasn't.
This Lone Star College shooting turned out to be an individual who legally bought a gun, but then decided to break a few laws and shoot someone he didn't like. It just happened to occur near an educational institution. In this author's opinion, the correct course of action is not to enact more gun laws that would serve to punish law abiding citizens, but to hold this criminal (the person who actually broke the law) accountable to the fullest extent possible with the current laws that are already on the books.