An underfunded mental health system, not easy access to firearms, is to blame for the latest shooting rampage, near Santa Barbara, Calif., according to a prominent Second Amendment advocate.
Seven people were killed, including the gunman, and seven others injured on Friday night after a bloody drive-by shooting, The New York Times reports. Police described how the mentally disturbed gunman methodically opened fire in a 10-minute spasm of terror.
The gunman was found dead with a bullet wound to his head after his black BMW crashed into another car. He had exchanged gunfire with deputy sheriffs in Isla Vista, near the University of California, Santa Barbara.
A family lawyer tentatively identified the gunman as Elliot Rodger, the 22-year-old son of a Hollywood director.
Richard Feldman, president of the International Firearm Owners Association, said tighter gun control laws would not have prevented the tragedy.
"Once again our dangerously underfunded mental health system will get honorable mention and short shrift as the culprit in last night's horrific mass killing in Santa Barbara, Calif., by a tortured, dejected, angry loner," Feldman said in a statement.
"After the Newtown shooting everyone from the White House to the state house mentioned mental health as the real culprit, but what have we done about it? The number of mass killings represent only a tiny fraction of senseless killings, but get 99% of the air time and are responsible for some additional copycat killings," Feldman added.
He concluded: "it's only a matter of days till the California legislature calls for new gun restrictions as a convenient scapegoat and digestible political pinata. They may as well call to outlaw BMW's as the killer couldn't have driven one if the legislators outlawed a brand of automobiles instead of dealing like responsible adults with the problem."
Not everyone agrees. Some argue stricter gun control laws are in order after the rampage.
I can't even summon outrage after UCSB shooting. If nothing changed after Newton then nothing will ever change.- Teresa Kopec (@TeresaKopec) May 24, 2014
Only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is...wait, why do all these bad guys have guns again? http://t.co/800nxAu8bs- Andy Cobb (@AndyCobb) May 24, 2014