‘Not if but When’: More Mass Shootings Add to Weary Nation’s Grief
Officials described the Tulsa shooting as targeted. Chief Franklin said the gunman, identified by officials as Michael Louis, had a letter with him explaining that he wanted to kill Dr. Preston Phillips, who performed back surgery on him last month, as well as anyone who got in his way. Chief Franklin said the gunman had complained of continuing pain since being discharged from the hospital, and had returned for a follow-up visit the day before the attack.
Hospital officials described Dr. Phillips as a caring physician who sometimes ran late for his appointments because he spent extra time with his patients. The authorities say the gunman also killed Dr. Stephanie Husen, who practiced sports medicine; Amanda Glenn, an office worker with a supervisory role; and William Love, an Army veteran whose family said he sacrificed himself to save his wife.
The Tulsa shooting was not even the first mass shooting in Oklahoma since the Uvalde massacre on May 24. On Sunday, at a Memorial Day Weekend festival, eight people ranging in age from 9 to 56 were shot at the Old City Square of Taft, Okla., a small town about 40 miles from Tulsa. A 39-year-old woman died in that shooting.
In Chattanooga, Tenn., where six teenagers were shot as a group fought last weekend, Mayor Tim Kelly called for expanding background checks and so-called red flag laws, as well as raising the minimum age to buy certain weapons.
“Kids have always gotten into scuffles with each other,” Mr. Kelly wrote on Twitter. “That’s a tale that’s as old as time. What is new is now they have access to handguns and firearms that leave behind bodies instead of bruised egos.”
President Biden, a longtime supporter of stricter gun laws, addressed the country on Thursday night about the recent spate of shootings. But even as Republicans and Democrats in the Senate have been meeting in recent days to see if they can reach an agreement on legislation about guns, mental health and school safety, there is widespread skepticism that any sweeping deal will emerge.
“Our leaders ignore, gloss over or refuse to address the complex challenges and difficulties facing our country and communities,” Kendra Horn, a former Democratic congresswoman from Oklahoma who is running for the Senate, said after the Tulsa shooting.