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Tragic Omaha Shooting

You can go to pretty much any news website and find the story…..Nine dead and five injured in Omaha mall shooting. I don’t need to link anything.

The mall isn’t too far from our neighborhood. I heard a couple of stories from people who either missed the shooting by a few minutes (one had been in the store minutes before the shootings) or who had worked at the store and knew employees there. Omaha’s not an especially huge community, so there truly seems to be connections to everyone.

Trying to get in touch with loved ones was hard - the phone circuits were overloaded, so getting through was a miracle at best. Silly things like traffic jams truly called out that something was different as I was driving home from work, a trip that takes me right by the mall.

The shooter - a 19-year-old “troubled kid” - wanted to “go out in style” according to one of his “suicide notes.” I refuse to bring any kind of notoriety to his name, so you won’t see it listed here because that’s exactly what he wanted - he alerted another person in a communication “I’m going to be a star.” FUCK HIM. How dare he take the lives of innocent people to live out some twisted fantasy of his! If he wants to pull the trigger on himself, so be it…the world is likely a bit safer without this maniac in it. But based on the frantic family members trying to learn about their loved ones, this jerk affected many, many people in a very profound and sad way. My heart goes out to those family members and friends who lost someone in this senseless act of violence. Also for those who were traumatized by this act, and for those rescue workers and police officers who are undoubtedly impacted by this. I will be praying for all of you!

I’ll be honest. I’m tired of the bullshit excuses already coming in. He was troubled, he was depressed, he had a rough life. Think about it - how many people in life are troubled, depressed, and have experienced challenging issues? There are many…and they don’t shoot people in an effort to gain notoriety or “popularity.” This was someone extremely broken, sick and disgustingly selfish and self-serving. I understand he’s a son, he’s a friend, but he’s also a MURDERER. He CERTAINLY didn’t think of his friends or his family when he selfishly pulled the trigger, while looking into the terrified faces of those he decided to shoot. THAT will be the bullshit notoriety he’s leaving behind.

ptg said:

Come on! You are making this up, Merri. Westroads is a "gun free zone", so what you describe couldn't have happened. ;)

Merri said:

Ahem. I believe those signs are only for those law-abiding folk who might actually pay attention to them. No, really!

Angela said:

If you don't live very far from the mall then we are closer than I thought because the mall is just a hop skip jump away from my house.

Westroads is actually my favorite mall out of all of them because of the family center where the kids can play. My phone was ringing non-stop with relief coming through to the other end when my friends and family found out I was at home. Westroads is truly a place I could have been yesterday.

I know of a friend of a friend of friends that had a loved one or family friend shot.

There is no excuse for what happened. If somebody wants to point the finger they should point it at the Evil one.

Stroosinator said:

Prayers are out to the family and friends of the victims. THEY are all that matter.

Lei said:

well i think depression is not used as an excuse for his actions because nothing can excuse him, but i think we also need to take into account what depression means. when someone has depression they can't find meaning in life. they can't make sense of living. if someone can give up their life that certainly means life has no value for them. i'm not making a judgment of whether that's right or wrong, you might say it's wrong, but if someone is depressed and life has no value, what is wrongness to them?

i think these random acts of violence are so hard for society to understand is because those of us living in society can make sense of our lives. whether through religion, morality without religion, or just some purpose, some meaning to bear with life, those of us living in society "normally" has a mechanism to make sense of the world and our lives. thus when something random happens, it distorts our sense of "meaning," and "purpose" and "teleology." our concepts of say humanitarianism, freedom, equality, are taken off the balance. we can't understand life as a meaningless, chaotic, or without purpose world. we need order, routine, and stability. that is why evolution is so troublesome. that is why we need religion, to believe in God like a kind loving father who has a plan for us. who cares for us. this is why the instance is so troubling.

Merri said:

I don't disagree with what you are saying, Lei, but I can see a depressed person having thoughts of suicide. What happened with this man is something beyond that. To make the decision to take innocent lives all for the idea of going out in some deranged fantasy of being "famous" during his suicide is simply, well, disgusting. There was something broken in this kid, and I'm not sure all the therapy and pharmacy in the world could have helped him. I would add that this is something society will never understand because it simply doesn't make any sense. There isn't an ounce of logic in this tragedy.

Merri said:

Angela - the mall is about 5 minutes from my house. We routinely get curbside takeout at Romano's because it is so close.

Chris said:

Sympathies to your entire community and I'll bite my tongue on the talking heads take on gun control.

Merri said:

Oh, Chris...no need to bite your tongue. People are clueless, really. No amount of gun control would have stopped this...did they think "stealing a gun" was a legal way of acquiring the firearm? Do they think he wouldn't have done anything if he could only get his hands on a hunting rifle? Gimme a break!

Nigel said:

Let's compare shall we?

This tragic mall shooting happened in a "gun free" zone...so nobody was able to defend themselves and no mall security was armed.

Now go over to Michelle Malkin's site (too lazy to link, I'm sorry) and read about this weekend's church shootings which were halted when an armed church security guard took out the shooter...

Vinnie said:


The "gun free zone" signs didn't stop Hawkins. It shouldn't stop us from defending ourselves.

The mall's policy does not carry the weight of the rule of law.

I'm tired of the "mall was a gun free zone" argument. If it were a law against going into a store that had a sign like that, then I would agree, but it's not. At least not here.

If you're advocating that private property owners not be allowed to determine what they want to have on their property, then you're inadvertently advancing the leftist agenda of subverting private property rights.

I draw a distinction between law and mall policy. In the former, I have to follow it lest I forfeit my life in jail. In the latter, I don't see a reason to follow it, lest I forfeit my life vs. being kicked out the place and not allowed to shop there anymore.

I think I'll take my life and shop wherever I please.

Nigel said:

Hey Vinnie...let's not get our wires crossed. The point I was making is that the security at the mall was not ARMED security. I'm not talking about private citizens. I agree with you, if I am licensed to carry and I own a weapon I am not going to let a mall sign tell me I can't carry...

But why do malls (California malls as well) hire security guards if they aren't going to train and equip them to use weapons? There is a reason that mall cops are a joke (see South Park, Ron Paul, the dad in the comic Drabble). Now that stupid policy has come home to roost.

Meanwhile the Colorado church had an armed and trained security guard. She saved many lives by taking out the gunman.

Our hearts are with you all there in Nebraska...that was a horrible tragedy.

Vinnie said:

Ah, sorry Nigel, I completely missed the point.

You may smack me when ready, Gridley.

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