When news broke of the shooting at the Marysville, Wash., high school, and it was known that the shooter was a student, one of my first thoughts became: What kind of loner/outcast would do such a horrible thing?
Then the second shock arrived. The shooter was a freshman at Pilchuck High School who was popular with his peers, an athlete and a young man who’d just been named homecoming prince.
Then I watched a former FBI profiler, Clint Van Zandt, tell MSNBC that this case arguably is the most “baffling” he had seen, given that Jaylen Fryberg was the quintessential non-stereotype we’ve attached to individuals who do these kinds of horrifying deeds. Van Zandt essentially said you could throw the profile book out the window.
Fryberg killed himself after shooting another student to death and injuring four others, three of them critically.
The argument will rage once again over how this young man obtain possession of the weapon he used to bring such destruction to the school just north of Seattle.
We’re going to hear from gun-owner advocates that no laws could have prevented this from happening. Gun-safety advocates will argue the opposite.
And look and listen for the National Rifle Association — among others — to proclaim that the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment is so sacrosanct that to touch any part of it would render it utterly meaningless.
Interestingly, Washington state voters are going to decide a referendum on the state’s ballot that expands background checks to include all gun purchases.
It’s fair to ask: Would such a provision have kept the weapon out of Jaylen Fryberg’s hands? Probably not.
It also is fair to ask: Do such laws make it just a little harder for nuts to obtain guns … and do they infringe on legitimate gun ownership?
“Yes” to the first part. Absolutely “no!” to the second.