During the Supreme Court oral arguments last November, in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc., et al. v. Bruen, a major gun-control case, Justice Clarence Thomas and Barbara Underwood, New York’s solicitor general, had an exchange about the kinds of place a person might carry a gun. “It’s one thing to talk about Manhattan or N.Y.U.’s campus,” Thomas said. “It’s another to talk about rural upstate New York…”
There was an echo of those words on May 14th, as reports came in of a shooting in upstate New York: if Payton S. Gendron, from the small town of Conklin, which is near a university, had driven two and a half hours northeast, he would have ended up in Troy. Instead, he drove more than three hours northwest, to Buffalo, where he killed ten people at a Tops supermarket.
Gendron sought out Black victims, according to his online posts; they indicate that he had become fixated on the “great replacement” theory, which posits that there is a plot to supplant white Americans with supposedly more tractable minorities. That world view, in this Trump-distorted era, is not rare…
What seems tragically mundane, though, in American terms, is that Gendron, who is eighteen, is reportedly the owner of at least three guns: a Savage Axis XP hunting rifle, which he received as a Christmas gift when he was sixteen, the legal age to own one in New York; a Mossberg 500 shotgun, which he bought, legally, in December; and a Bushmaster XM-15 semi-automatic rifle—the apparent murder weapon—which was also legal when he bought it, in January, for less than a thousand dollars, and which he then easily modified to allow for a larger capacity magazine than is permitted in the state. An alarm that Gendron’s high school raised last year, when he said that his post-graduation goals included “murder/suicide,” was not in itself enough, under the state’s “red flag” law, to forestall the purchases.
I added the emphasis to the paragraph. Gendron’s high school did something similar when they raised an alarm to state officials when he made it clear that he considered “murder/suicide” an appropriate post graduation exercise.
One thought on “After the Buffalo Massacre…”
“The gunman who authorities say killed 21 people in a South Texas community – 19 of them elementary school students – legally purchased two rifles in the days following his 18th birthday, authorities said.
Officials said they recovered the two AR-15 style rifles from the scene at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. The gunman, who had attended Uvalde High School, purchased one of the rifles from a federally licensed gun store on May 17, the day after his 18th birthday, according to authorities and Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, who said law enforcement officials briefed him on the purchases.
A day later, on May 18, the gunman purchased 375 rounds of ammunition. And on May 20, he purchased the second rifle.
That’s four days before Tuesday’s massacre, which ended in the deaths of the students and two adults.” https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/texas/article/uvalde-school-shooting-guns-17196715.php
Americans purchased nearly 20 million firearms in 2021, according to data from Small Arms Analytics & Forecasting, a slight decrease from 2020.