U.S. Army Reserve, Family Raised Alarm About Maine Shooter Weeks Before Attack
The U.S. Army Reserve and the family of the Maine shooter raised alarm about him weeks before the attack, but he was not able to be prevented from obtaining a firearm.
On October 25, 2023, Robert R. Card, a 40-year-old U.S. Army Reserve sergeant, shot and killed 18 people at a bar and bowling alley in Lewiston, Maine. The shooting was the 10th-deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
In the weeks leading up to the attack, Card’s family and the Army Reserve had expressed concern about his mental health. In May 2023, Card’s family contacted the Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office to say that they were concerned about his deteriorating mental health and that he had access to at least 10 guns. In September 2023, Card’s Army Reserve unit emailed the sheriff’s office requesting a “wellness check” on Card.
The sheriff’s office responded to Card’s family’s concerns and the Army Reserve’s request for a wellness check, but they were unable to prevent him from obtaining a firearm. Card was able to purchase a gun from a private seller because Maine does not have a universal background check law.
The shooting in Lewiston has raised concerns about how to prevent mass shootings by people with mental health problems. Some experts have called for universal background checks and other gun control measures. Others have called for more resources to be invested in mental health care.
It is important to note that there is no single solution to the problem of mass shootings. However, it is clear that more needs to be done to prevent people with mental health problems from obtaining firearms.
What Can Be Done to Prevent Mass Shootings?
There are a number of things that can be done to prevent mass shootings, including:
- Universal background checks: Universal background checks would require all gun buyers to undergo a background check, regardless of where they purchase the gun. This would help to prevent people with criminal records or mental health problems from obtaining firearms.
- Red flag laws: Red flag laws allow law enforcement to temporarily confiscate firearms from people who are deemed to be a danger to themselves or others. These laws can be helpful in preventing mass shootings, but they need to be carefully crafted to avoid infringing on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.
- Investment in mental health care: Investing in mental health care would help to ensure that people with mental health problems have access to the treatment they need. This could help to prevent mass shootings by identifying and treating people who are at risk of violence.
It is important to note that there is no single solution to the problem of mass shootings. However, by taking steps to improve background checks, red flag laws, and mental health care, we can help to make our communities safer.