Gunman Kills Three, Self in Fort Hood Shooting

In November 2009, the unthinkable happened as a gunman opened fire at the Fort Hood military base in Fort Hood, Texas.  As they say, history repeats itself.

On Wednesday, Iraq veteran Ivan Lopez opened fire at Fort Hood, killing three other members of the military before committing suicide.  In addition to the deceased were sixteen other wounded individuals.

At about 4:00 PM, Lopez opened fire in a medical brigade building with a .45 caliber Smith and Wesson pistol.  He then moved on to another building to continue shooting where a female soldier confronted him, and that is when he turned the gun on himself.  The shooter was said to have been being treated for mental illness, which adds to the issue of people wrongly judging veterans with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and even fearing them.   It has also opened up more debate on the issue of gun control.

Representative Mike McCaul, a republican from Texas who is also chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, sees this as a big issue related to gun control with military leaders not being able to carry weapons on base.  “They defend us overseas, yet they’re defenseless at bases,” he told Fox News. “When these things happen … it doesn’t take very long to kill a lot of people.”

“It’s putting a label on all veterans that they are psychotic or mentally unstable and they’re going to shoot up places. And they’re not,” said Medal of Honor recipient Sergeant Dakota Meyer.  Meyer was given the award in 2011 after he saved the lives of 36 lives in Afghanistan with his bravery.  He suffers from PTSD.  “Going out and shooting your own friends, your own people, that’s not PTSD,” he said in an interview with Fox News.  “The media label this shooting PTSD, but if what that man did is PTSD, then I don’t have it.”

This is a classic example of how the media manages to take facts and allegations and twist them to make something more interesting and controversial.  What these people seem to constantly disregard is the fact that they could be creating stereotypes and false opinions of people and groups of people based on flawed data.  When something like this event happens, maybe there should be more focus on the victims and their families.  Obviously, Lopez had far more issues than post traumatic stress; he never even saw combat.  Therefore, that can’t be an excuse for him to commit such a terrible attack.