On radio broadcasts people have suggested the terrorist were only using guns to restart the gun control debate. Others point to the AR-15 as the gun that is always found at mass shootings and thus try to restart the assault weapon ban debate.
But as I stated at the beginning, we have become highly selective in our memories.
Soon after the shootings at Umpqua Community College, President Barrack Obama made a comment regarding deaths in the United States by terrorism compared to gun deaths. It was a comment he should have never made since his own administration seemed unwilling to recognize any deaths, murders, or attack as being a terrorist event. That is unless said event could be branded against white, protestant gun owners.
Virginia Tech in 2007 held the record for the most deaths at 33 until Orlando. He did it with only two pistols. What amplified his lethality was that he put locks on the main exits, turning the engineering building into his personal hunting grounds.
Fort Hood in 2009, it took until 2016 for the Obama Administration to label it as terrorism. The original statement was workplace violence. Major Hasan used two pistols, one a revolver, to kill 13 soldiers and wound 33 others. His plan was he would be the only one armed.
In 2012 the Aurora Colorado theater shooting got everyone’s attention since he was a white boy (James Eagan Holmes), highly educated, and he used an AR-15. He killed 12 people and wounded 70 before his capture. The darkness of the theater, plus the limited exits worked for him.
The Tsarnaev brothers attack on the Boston Marathon in 2013 used only homemade bombs. They killed only three people, but they wounded over 260. In general casualties (killed and wounded) they still hold the record even over the 100 killed and injured at Orlando.
The San Bernardino shooters are remembered for their use of two assault rifles in a state that banned them years ago. What is not remembered is the pipe bombs they left to explode when the paramedics arrived. Thankfully, like the bombs at Columbine that they mirrored, they didn’t go off.
Again the June 17th 2015 shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church fit peoples needs since it was a White boy with a fetish for Confederate flags. But the nine people he killed died because he had one pistol: no bombs, and no assault rifle.
Equally lost is the Umpqua Community College shooting I previously mentioned? An African American shooter, but that fact has been made to disappear from the record. Also that he killed 10 people and wounded at least 7 more. He didn’t use an assault Rifle or even a semi-auto pistol. Instead he had five revolvers, though more notice was made of a long gun he left in the car. Also lost to memory is that the shooter was wearing a flak jacket.
We remember the race, the means and even the reason when they suit our personal views. When they don't we just try and make it disappear.