Sunday, April 21, 2013

What could possibly go wrong?

Greensboro's year started with a gun tragedy. On the morning of January 7, as her family was preparing for work and school, Sandra Palmer shot her 14-year-old middle-school son five times, killing him, and shot her live-in boyfriend and her 18-year-old daughter multiple times. The boyfriend escaped to get help when Palmer's first gun jammed. Palmer grabbed a second gun and turned it on herself, ending her own life.

This morning's News & Record reports that Palmer obtained the gun permit from our friendly sheriff's office two days before the slaughter, despite:
  • suffering from a history of psychiatric problems,
  • being on five separate medications for psychiatric and emotional issues, and
  • suffering through a host of financial hardships, including the recent loss of her job, a recent bankruptcy, and the ongoing foreclosure of her house.
Palmer did not disclose any of these problems on her permit application, and even if she had, none of them would have disqualified her. This litany of problems didn't even raise a speed bump along the path to a gun purchase.

Sandra Palmer might not have technically been crazy, but irresponsible policies that quickly put a gun in the hands of someone with her problems and circumstances surely are.