Minnesota mass shooting

cryingMany people are crying in Minnesota. Why? There has been another mass shooting in our state. We’ve had others. We had the Accent Signage shooting ( the 3rd anniversary is coming on Sept. 27th ). We’ve had the Red Lake school shooting. This time, 5 members of one family shot and killed in a murder/suicide.

The father in a family of five found dead in their Greenwood home Thursday shot and killed his wife and three teenage children before turning the gun on himself, sources told the Star Tribune Friday.

Brian Scott Short, 45, killed his wife, Karen Anne Short, 48; and his three children, Cole, 17; Madison, 15, and Brooklyn, 14, in their mansion near Lake Minnetonka, the sources said. (…)

The South Lake Minnetonka police came upon the “unspeakable” scene while checking on the welfare of the family, whose members had not shown up for work or school for a couple of days. The five bodies bore traumatic injuries and were scattered throughout the large house on Channel Drive.

And what do people say? It was such a nice family. I can’t believe this happened in our peaceful suburban neighborhood. He seemed like such a good guy. How could this have happened? Yes. It happens. It’s America- the land of mass shootings. There has been one almost one a day this year. Many are not high profile like the Charleston shooting or the Aurora theater shooting or Sandy Hook. They are found in local media sources. They are often domestic in nature and often involve a murder/suicide. They happen because of the availability of guns not seen in any other first world country in the world.

In my last post I wrote about the high number of gun suicides in our country. In Minnesota it’s 80%. I wrote in the post before last about my friend who was coming from Vermont for our class reunion. Her husband shot and killed himself. He had some mental illness and had been struggling with it for years. I had a chance to talk to her about his death. As it turns out, my friend was also involved in a school shooting in the small school in Vermont where she taught. One was killed. It was a domestic shooting. The shooter came to shoot his girlfriend at the school where she worked.

Have we had enough of this insanity? When will it be enough? When can we talk about gun violence and the affect it has on our families and communities? When will we come to our senses?

At my class reunion, many know about the work that I do and are supporters. One man wanted to talk to me. He is a gun owner- a hunter. He got his permit to carry just because but he doesn’t carry a gun ever. He target shoots and he owns 10 guns.He believes in background checks for all guns sales and thinks we ought to have licensing and registration. He told me that he would give up his guns if that is what it takes to stop the insanity.

Where is common sense? It turns out that it’s everywhere but in the halls of Congress and our state houses. And that is just one problem. The rest is due to a gun culture that has spiraled out of control. When did this start my friend wanted to know? How did we get this way? Was it September 11th, 2001? Was it the election of President Obama? Is it the uptick of the fear and paranoia spewed by the gun rights extremists and the political far right? Is it the need for profit for the gun industry as sales decreased so passing new permit to carry laws or letting the assault weapons ban makes people think they must have shiny new guns?

I’m not sure. I just know that when we have this many mass shootings, something is terribly wrong. It’s senseless and tragic. Now a whole family is dead and the grief and affects of this are far reaching into the family of the victims and the entire community. Something needs to change.

I will end with this quote from the linked article:

“It is with great regret and a very heavy heart that I have to share some very sad news with you. There is no easy way to say this. … Brian and his family have been killed. The news is calling it an apparent murder-suicide. … No matter what the details are, the results are still the same … a very tragic loss for the extended families, friends, co-workers and this nursing community.”


This follow-up Star Tribune article indicates that there were possible mental health and financial problems that could have contributed to the shooting deaths of the Minnesota family.

I would also like to add that one of my readers commented with an answer to my questions about how did we get to where we are now? It was 1977 in Cincinnati at an NRA meeting when a group who wanted to turn the organization into a lobby group instead of a group to support hunting sport:

In gun lore it’s known as the Revolt at Cincinnati. On May 21, 1977, and into the morning of May 22, a rump caucus of gun rights radicals took over the annual meeting of the National Rifle Association.

The rebels wore orange-blaze hunting caps. They spoke on walkie-talkies as they worked the floor of the sweltering convention hall. They suspected that the NRA leaders had turned off the air-conditioning in hopes that the rabble-rousers would lose enthusiasm.

The Old Guard was caught by surprise. The NRA officers sat up front, on a dais, observing their demise. The organization, about a century old already, was thoroughly mainstream and bipartisan, focusing on hunting, conservation and marksmanship. It taught Boy Scouts how to shoot safely. But the world had changed, and everything was more political now. The rebels saw the NRA leaders as elites who lacked the heart and conviction to fight against gun-control legislation. (…)

What unfolded that hot night in Cincinnati forever reoriented the NRA. And this was an event with broader national reverberations. The NRA didn’t get swept up in the culture wars of the past century so much as it helped invent them — and kept inflaming them. In the process, the NRA overcame tremendous internal tumult and existential crises, developed an astonishing grass-roots operation and became closely aligned with the Republican Party.

Today it is arguably the most powerful lobbying organization in the nation’s capital and certainly one of the most feared. There is no single secret to its success, but what liberals loathe about the NRA is a key part of its power. These are the people who say no.

And the rest is the result of how we got to where we are today.

8 thoughts on “Minnesota mass shooting

  1. Luke, are you referring to the NRA national meeting of that year? I’m not certain, and it’s a small & irrelevant point, but I think it was held in Cincinnati. Still, you’re essentially right, though some militant gun rights fervor had been building for a few years by that time.

  2. If we could separate the gun issue from the culture war we might make some progress in passing effective gun laws that would not infringe upon gun rights – in fact, the former could strengthen the latter by taking the sting out of gun ownership & use.
    In general, to move forward on any hot button issues the engaged public sorely needs some enhanced communication and people skills, as well as the willingness to shut out the shrill voices on both sides. All involved should be required to go to some sort of soft skills boot camp. Otherwise we turn the public sphere into a battle ground where we all lose.

    1. Brent, thats a fine sentiment but unrealistic. Conversing with the 2A partisans in this state is futile. You can have all the seemingly civil gatherings you like but neither side trusts the other. Its not about coming to some common understanding with them. It’s all about winning at any cost.

  3. Luke,
    You’ve hit on an key factor at the root of the impasse – the issue & debate are dominated by “2A partisans”. The rank & file folks in the opposite camps could probably get together & forge a workable compromise. But the leaders & financial backers (i.e., the partisans) who set the groups’ agendas & tone, craft their message & image tend to focus, as you say, on winning. Which, for America, means losing.
    It’s the same for many other issues facing the nation.

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