by Drew Ward
There has been an increase in mass shootings, with the past year alone having 323 mass shootings. Mass shootings are defined by four or more people getting shot at the same location at the same time. Unfortunately, another shooting occurred this past week on Friday, February 15. The shooting occurred at a warehouse in Aurora, Illinois. The gunman, Gary Martin, killed five people and injured five officers. Due to previous felonies, Martin was not supposed to own a gun.
Gary Martin was a convicted felon because he severely beat a woman nearly two decades ago. He was convicted in another state; however, when he bought the gun in 2014, he was flagged. He was supposed to turn in the gun but never did. Since he did not, the police should have confiscated it but no one did. Police are investigating why Martin had a gun. Part of the reason why he was able to buy the gun is that purchase does not require fingerprints. He was flagged because he applied for a concealed carry. Purchasing a firearm is easier than getting a concealed carry license.
Martin was supposed to be in a meeting Friday that would have terminated his employment. No one knows if he knew he was going to get fired, but other employees believe he knew. He opened fire and tried to kill as many as he could. John Probst, an employee of the plant, saw Martin walking with the gun and fled the plant. He said, “He started opening up on the room, and he was just shooting everybody.” The shooting lasted about an hour and a half, although all the people shot were shot in the first few minutes of the shooting. Once the police arrived on the scene, Martin used a window to open fire. Eventually, the police breached the warehouse and Martin was shot and ultimately died.