A family friend of John Zawahri, the 24-year-old gunman who killed four people during the Santa Monica shooting spree, claims that Zawahri had a “fascination with guns.”
The family friend, who asked to remain anonymous, stated, “We were all worried about it ... Everyone is wondering where he got the money for the weapons."
Law enforcement has investigated the shooting and believe that Zawahri had a history of mental illness. They revealed that they had another incident with the suspect back in 2006, but the authorities have not released any details about the event because Zawahri was a juvenile at the time.
The news about Zawahri’s “fascination” has raised some eyebrows in the gun community. Warner Todd Huston of Breitbart calls out the LA Times for emphasizing the shooter’s gun love rather than his mental illness. In all likelihood, it was his mental illness and not his love of guns that provoked Zawahri to allegedly start the shooting rampage.
Of course, Zawahri’s near obsession with guns does not do much to make gun owners look good, either. A history of mental illness is all you need for a dangerous situation, but if Zawahri had not been so obsessed with guns, there might not have been such a high death count.
The news coverage draws attention to the fact that a new gun control debate starts up whenever there is a mass shooting. Gun control advocates predictably point to guns as the root of the problem, while gun rights proponents argue guns have nothing to do with the decision to commit murder.
Both groups are correct in a way — mental illness undoubtedly affects a person’s decision to commit murder, and shooting sprees would be impossible without gun access.
The news coverage of the Santa Monica shooting draws attention to the never-ending gun control debate. As much as gun rights advocate might wish otherwise, mass shooters make guns and gun owners look bad. Gun control advocates will continue to exploit that fact after every mass shooting, but whether or not the gun bashing is justified is still up for debate.
Source: LA Times