Lewiston Survivor Reflects Regret

(IntegrityTimes.com) – On Sunday March 3, Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) sat down with Margaret Brennan on CBS’s “Face the Nation” to discuss gun violence, gun control laws and the mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine on October 25, 2023. Survivors of the deadly attack that took place at the Just-in-Time Recreation bowling alley and Schemengees Bar & Grille Restaurant recently testified in front of the independent commission set up to review the tragic event and the failures along the way that led to it.

ATF Director Dettelbach, between calls for more severe gun control laws and denouncing America as uniquely violent, admitted that many of the survivors of the Lewiston mass shooting do not believe more gun control is the answer. Many survivors of mass shootings and families of those who have died from gun violence often join anti-gun organizations as they do blame legal gun ownership for gun-related violence. However, there is a rising number of people who are saying it is a failure of the mental health system that is the biggest contributor.

Dettelbach says that during that meeting he saw many people, wracked with grief but still able to have an open discussion that reflected various standpoints on the issues. Relatives of the 40-year-old gunman, Robert Card, said that he was suffering from obvious poor and deteriorating mental health. They also stated that they had warned police about his increasingly paranoid behavior and his access to guns. Card was an Army reservist and fellow service members had also raised concerns about his behavior.

Maine has laws on the books for involuntary commitment as well as “yellow flag” laws that allow for official intervention and yet, despite awareness of Card and his noted disturbing behavior, neither the Army nor police took any action that could have gotten him the necessary mental health assessments. Bobbi Nichols, who was at the Just-in-Time Recreation bowling alley and lost her sister, Tricia Asselin that night, commented that the state could pass 1,000 gun laws but if no actions are taken, they would do no good. The commission is expected to have a comprehensive report ready by April 1.

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