By Rod Morse
A madman walked into the Fifth Third Bank in Cincinnati and started killing people. The murderer shot 5 people. Three of them died of their injuries. When seconds counted, armed police officers responded in minutes. The attack was over in minutes, but it started years ago. Follow along with me and see if you can pick out the subtle clues.
The murderer had a long history of mental health problems. He was diagnosed, but resisted treatment and medications. The murderer’s parents begged a Florida judge to mandate treatment because the murderer was a threat to himself and others. Mental health laws failed despite the parent’s pleas for mandatory treatment.
The Florida judge mandated a psychiatric evaluation. Several psychologists I contacted said it is extremely difficult for them to determine if a patient will become violent. To quote them, “Your guess is as good as mine.” Psychiatric evaluations failed despite the patients long medical history. The judge failed to flag the murderer as a prohibited person under federal firearms law.
The murderer bought firearms from a gun shop in Ohio. Ohio requires a background checks before a firearm is transferred to the customer. The gun shop ran the required check. The background check did not stop the transfer because the murderer was not listed as a prohibited person in the FBI instant background check database. Background checks failed to keep us safe.
Ohio firearm regulations make it illegal to carry a firearm concealed on your person without first taking a training course and obtaining a state license. Those gun laws failed to stop the murder from carrying his gun in public.
Ohio also makes it illegal to transport a loaded firearm in your car without that permit. Ohio’s transport laws failed to stop the murderer from driving to the bank with his gun.
The Fifth Third Bank told its employees that they could be dismissed if they brought a legally owned firearm into their place of employment. That regulation disarmed the murderer’s victims. Bank regulations failed to stop the murderer.
Gun free zone signs failed to stop the murderer from entering the bank. You and I obey those signs, but murderers don’t.
Verbal warnings failed to stop the murder.
Bank security guards in light blue shirts and dark blue pants didn’t stop the murderer from crossing the foyer. Unarmed security failed to stop the armed murderer.
A turnstile failed to stop the murderer from entering the office.
Once the police arrived, they shot the murderer. Bullets stopped the murderer’s killing spree.
National and state gun laws failed before and during the murders at the Fifth Third Bank in Cincinnati, Ohio. Many corporate security regulations failed as well, but that isn’t the important point. The important lesson is that these laws and regulations will fail in the future. Crazy people will slip through our mental health laws. Criminals and the mentally ill will get firearms and other weapons, either legally, or illegally. Plastic signs and polyester uniforms won’t keep us safe. I wish they could. Politicians will claim that their next gun law will work..while the 23 thousand firearms regulations that came before it failed time after time.