On Thursday evening, 28-year-old Alex Tilghman walked into Louie’s Grill & Bar in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and opened fire.
Unfortunately, in America, we see “breaking news” headlines that involve gun violence far too often. Despite these horrors, there are millions upon millions of peaceful, law-abiding gun owners in the country who follow safe procedures when using or training with their firearms.
We do not have a gun epidemic in the United States.
AR-15s don’t fire on their own into crowds of students or concert-goers. The tragedies we’ve seen in recent years are still a result of the evil within the hearts of men. This truth will continue on no matter how many gun laws are passed. While we should discuss common sense approaches to stopping the violence before it strikes (without infringing upon our rights), we’ll never be able to contain it all.
Remember Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz? He was well-known to authorities, had mental health issues, and even made specific threats about desiring to become “a professional school shooter” in the months before the February 14th massacre. In the end, he did just that and took seventeen innocent lives in the process. Cruz made his own decision that day to commit murder. While there were obvious and frequent red flags pointing to the possibility of catastrophe by his hands, incompetent Broward County law enforcement, the FBI, and even those close to him didn’t take sufficient action to stop it.
Back to Oklahoma…
If the anti-gun crowd truly cared about all gun violence they would be quite vocal about each occurrence and all the factors involved, correct? But as we know, they are not. In order to spread the narrative they most desire, they’ll focus on specific incidents and remain silent about other ones.
And the restaurant shooting that occurred in Oklahoma City on May 24th fits squarely in the “remain silent about” column.
Here are three reasons why the anti-gun crowd in the media, and the general population, are mostly tight-lipped on this one.
Good Guys With Guns Stopped a Bad Guy With a Gun
When you’re eager to take away Second Amendment rights, this kind of real-life aspect will always hurt your case.
After firing several times from the pub’s entrance, police said, Tilghman was fatally shot outside by two bystanders: Juan Carlos Nazario and Bryan Whittle, who had grabbed handguns from their vehicles, Oklahoma City Police Capt. Bo Mathews said on Friday.
“They stopped an incident that was very, very bad,” Mathews said. “We had no idea what he was going to do after he left Louie’s restaurant.”
“I was just there enjoying the lake scenery and heard shots,” Nazario, 35, told NBC News. “At that point, I zoned out and had to take action. Just glad no innocent bystanders’ lives were taken, and unfortunately, a life was lost, but he had a choice to drop the weapon and chose otherwise.”
Whittle, 39, told USA Today that he “just did what needed to be done to stop the threat. Nothing special.”
Nazario and Whittle were trained in the use of their firearms, remained calm, and took out a threat. They exercised their right to bear arms and in the process, saved many lives.
I doubt they’ll receive commendation from those who believe they should not have been in possession of those filthy killing tools in the first place. But without their presence and participation, the victim count would probably have been much higher and would have included the innocent dead, not just injured.
The Real Issue Is a Mental Health One
Sadly, Alex Tilghman was a very disturbed individual who never got the help he needed. Like others who have committed gun violence, he showed signs of being mentally ill. Ultimately, he went to a restaurant with the intent of hurting others.
Tilghman’s brother said that Alex “had serious mental issues and was crying for help.” In fact, the deceased shooter had made YouTube videos documenting his obvious inner turmoil and serious emotional struggles.
…the man who fired his gun into Louie’s Grill and Bar on Thursday night, injuring a female veteran and two young girls, believed he was under attack by demons, the devil is ‘after my f***ing a**’ and that his life was in danger.
Tilghman calmly told viewers of a clip labelled: ‘Please Contact Me If Your [sic] Real’ he was under ‘a hardcore amount of attack’ and needed ‘some real people in my life’.
Throughout a lot of his videos, Tilghman spoke of being lonely, suicidal, and unable to find ‘real humans’.
‘I really need a friend, if there’s someone real out there please get in touch with me,’ he said in one clip.
In another, titled ‘Someone Help Me, I’m Losing It’, he said he felt like he was living in a movie, and he was the only real person in the world.
One clip showed him in a park, where he filmed ducks quacking and told viewers they were demons laughing at him.
‘See them acting strangely, just quacking around,’ he said to viewers. ‘These are all demons.’
We’ll never know exactly why Tilghman brought a gun to Louie’s and started shooting, but it’s clear that his mental problems played a part. Had he received proper treatment, perhaps he could have conquered those demons within his mind and lived a full, healthy, non-violent life.
Like Nikolas Cruz and other killers before him, Tilghman displayed obvious problems and was never able to find a peaceful solution to his pain.
The bottom line? Tilghman was dangerous and disturbed without a gun.
The Tragedy Didn’t Happen at a School
The anti-gun crowd seems to salivate over shootings that occur on school grounds. When gun violence takes place elsewhere, it isn’t that useful to their narrative. Why? Well, the youth of America are our future. They make great posterkids who tug at the heartstrings and distract us while their cohorts attempt to slide their hands into our pockets and take our rights. We can’t possibly be for the Second Amendment while children are being gunned down in hallways and classrooms, right?
That’s what they say.
Because a school shooting does much more for their cause than a restaurant or church shooting, they focus on those. Other locations are seldom discussed. Sure, they occurred and are horrible, but it’s not as bad as mowing down 15-year-olds at their lockers.
That’s what they seem to be saying.
The reality is that when any individual takes the life of anyone else, it is a tragedy. This is true whether the incident involves a gun, knife, vehicle, or bare hands. This is also true no matter where the incident takes place. Yes, students should feel safe at school. We should also feel safe at the grocery store. Or a concert. Or church. Or a restaurant.
As the media continues to discuss Parkland, shootings such as this one, which are also worthy of attention, are but a blip on the screen. As I mentioned above, it’s easy to see why.
Despite claims to the contrary, we are all against gun violence. If we want to reduce the number of incidents, we need to be honest about all situations in which an armed individual takes the life of another.
By mostly ignoring what happened in Oklahoma, it’s clear that the anti-gun crowd isn’t ready to be honest, yet.