This morning Steve reported about a story that is getting national attention, and I have to admit, it’s a tough story to find someone to hate.
Benjamin Colton Barnes, the man suspected of shooting park ranger, Margaret Anderson, to death on Sunday was found dead Monday.
Barnes is also the suspect in a shooting that left four people injured in a Skyway apartment on New Year’s Eve.
The shooting happened near the Longmire Ranger Station in Mount Rainier National Park on Sunday morning. The incident started when a car failed to stop at a required tire chain check point. Then when Ranger Anderson tried to pulled over said car, the suspect pulled a weapon and opened fire, fatally wounding her before she could react.
After the shooting, the suspect fled into the woods on foot. The suspect’s vehicle had multiple weapons, ammunition, body armor and survival gear.
Park ranger Margaret Anderson was a 34-year-old mother of two young girls and was married to a fellow park ranger who was also working Sunday at another location in the park.
Barnes was a 24-year-old Iraq war veteran who friends said had a large collection of guns. He was discharged from the Army in 2009 after a DUI arrest and also had two restraining orders filed against him by the mother of his one-year-old child.
The reason why I feel it’s hard to find someone to hate in this story is because I have compassion for both sides.
On one side it’s such a horrible thing to happen to an innocent person. Ranger Anderson left behind two little girls and a husband whose lives have dramatically impacted. Those girls have to live the rest of their lives without their mother all because of Barnes.
On the other hand Barnes’s wife said he had post-traumatic stress disorder, our government should have done a better job monitoring a former soldier if he was indeed mentally ill. Not only did he serve in Iraq, but people knew he had a problem and were vocal about it! The mother of his child had a restraining order on him; shouldn’t that be a clue in itself?
The government needs to be better at identifying who shouldn’t be out and about with the rest of us. I believe if a person has a restraining order against them or is accused of being violent or mentally unstable, they should get a series of tests to make sure they are suitable to be out in public.
People are dead, families have adversely affected, and yet the government did nothing! It’s the year 2012 now and it’s time for some serious changes around here!