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Policy Summary
A city engineer in Virginia Beach opened fire on his colleagues at the city’s municipal building on May 31st. The attack resulted in twelve deaths and at least four others have been injured. Police are still searching for a motive, as the employee who opened fire had worked for the city’s government for years and sent a nondescript letter of resignation via email hours before the shooting.

Analysis
Law enforcement officials were clear to the media after the attack had occurred that they were going to speak the gunman’s name only once, solely for identification, so as not to glorify his actions. Virginia Beach police disclosed that the suspect opened fire Friday and was shooting “indiscriminately”, without any clear targets.

Some were describing the suspect as a ‘disgruntled employee’ but he had voluntarily resigned from his position before the attack, and many employees described him as  quiet and well-liked in the office. He was able to carry out these attacks with the aid of extended magazines and a sound suppressor. Both guns used in the attacks were purchased legally in 2016 and 2018.

Another mass shooting adds to the increasingly common acts of gun violence. It becomes less of a question of ‘if’ and more of a question of ‘when’ the next attack will occur. Each shooting calls upon Congress with greater urgency to tighten current regulations and restrictions on firearms in America. In the coming days there will be eyes on Congress’ next move in the ongoing battle for gun regulation.

Engagement Resources

  • March For Our Lives – an organization started after the Parkland school shooting which aims to unify advocates for gun control around relevant issues. You can also find more information about the  Road to Change tour on their website. Consider donating or canvassing during the midterm elections on these issues with this organization.
  • Everytown – A movement of Americans working to end gun violence and build safer communities.
  • Vote.gov – A resource to utilize if you need to register, are unfamiliar with voter ID requirements, or election processes so you can be ready by November.

This Brief was written by USRESIST NEWS Analyst Sarah Barton: Sarah@usresistnews.org

Photo by Marshall Williams

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