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Another mass shooting

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Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2012, 9:15 p.m.

Another senseless shooting rampage, this one closer to home, draws emotions if not increasing concern over the public's safety.

Exactly a week after the horrific Newtown, Conn., school massacre, unemployed truck driver Jeffrey Lee Michael, 44, loaded guns into his pickup truck in Geeseytown, Blair County, and began a shooting spree that claimed the lives of Kimberly A. Scott, 58, of Duncansville, Ken Lynn, 60, and Mr. Lynn's son-in-law, William Rhodes Jr., 38. The two men were Mr. Michael's neighbors; Mrs. Scott, a church volunteer, was shot inside Juniata Valley Gospel Church.

Michael then wounded three state police troopers before he was shot dead by troopers.

Police have no explanation for what “set off” Michael, just as Connecticut authorities cannot explain what prompted Adam Lanza's shooting spree a week earlier that killed his mother, five other adults and 20 children before he turned his gun on himself.

Unfathomable dementia has no rational explanation. Yet in the heart-wrenching aftermath of both tragedies, those far removed suggest societal “causes” and proffer public “solutions.”

But the “controls” they demand will not remove guns already in the possession of individuals who might one day snap — or, for that matter, stop the senseless from acquiring guns illegally. Such remedies rushed into law will only impede law-abiding citizens from acquiring the means to protect themselves.

The need for which today, sadly, should not be underestimated.

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