When the shooting was over, and two victims had been flown to the hospital and the gunman was dead, the commander at Fort Detrick remarked that it was perhaps fortunate the incident was not more severe.

He is right of course. Tuesday could have easily gone so much worse, so horribly wrong. A man with a rifle in his hands, military personnel in danger, city police searching for a shooter and base defenders facing down a person who has already fired to kill — the potential for disaster is mind-boggling.

So, in that sense, we can breathe a small sigh of relief. But right now, that is little comfort for our community reeling from pain and fear.

The national nightmare, gun violence on a shocking scale, came to Frederick Tuesday morning.

Police Chief Jason Lando, who has just taken over leadership of the city police department, touched on this sense of bewilderment mixed with horror that so many people were feeling.

“Every time you turn on the TV, we’re seeing something like this happen,” Lando said. “And now it’s happening in our backyard.”

“All we can do … is assess our ability to respond, our training, our equipment, and make sure that we’re always prepared to protect the community. We always hope that we don’t get that call. Today we got that call.”

Chief Lando thanked his colleagues and fellow law enforcement agencies for acting swiftly and being prepared. We do, too.

That coordination and effective response, especially from the city police and the base police force, was a bright spot in a dark day. Within minutes after the shooting of two men at an office park off Monocacy Boulevard, the city police issued an alert.

When the gunman showed up at Fort Detrick, where he was stationed, the guards were ready for him. He crashed through the gate, but a rapid response team quickly stopped him in a parking lot.

When he got out of his car with a weapon, the defenders shot and killed him.

“The collaboration and synchronization with which they operated certainly was done [by the] textbook,” said Brig. Gen. Michael Talley, commanding general of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command and Fort Detrick. “And certainly, ultimately, probably prevented further injury and loss.”

Now the victims must deal with the wounds they have suffered, both physical and psychological. Both wounded sailors were taken to the Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore hospital. One victim was released from the hospital Tuesday afternoon, the U.S. Navy said in a tweet. The other was reported in critical condition.

The Fort Detrick community will likely be dealing with its own mental wounds in the aftermath of this deadly incident. The Navy said it plans to send a special psychiatric rapid intervention team to provide mental health support to the Fort Detrick community.

And the Frederick community too will likely be affected by the echoes of gunfire at this beloved institution.

At the end of a very, very long day, Frederick Mayor Michael O’Connor summed up the reaction of many.

“The Frederick community is in shock today as an incident of gun violence we see far too often in other communities has happened here,” he said.

“Today is proof that we are not immune from the same challenges that cities and towns across the country face. It is important for us to work every day, as a community, to do what we can to ensure we remain a safe and peaceful place that preserves a high quality of life.”

Well said, Mr. Mayor.

(21) comments

DickD

What has happened to people? I had a gun as soon as I turned 16, almost all boys did. We didn't shoot anyone. We didn't go around calling people names like the Donald Trump crowd has done - not that is an excuse to shoot anyone. Still, Trump and his cult are a sign of the times. Trump deliberately incited a riot and people were killed because of it. He should be charged with accessory to murder and put in jail!

anInterestedPerson

Gun violence in this country will continue to get worse and worse. It is now becoming an outlet for ordinary people with no criminal backgrounds. And very few of the politicians in DC care about it. They all have bodyguards

Dwasserba

Why did this happen?

gary4books

Guns are a real problem. But not the only problem we have with violence. As we have seen in other places in the World, violent people who do not have guns have found many ways to kill. Knives and even farm implements have been used. Not as efficient, to be sure, but still effective and a problem to consider. If and when gun violence is no longer a problem, it will not be the time to rest.

Brookhawk

I used to work in criminal court in Baltimore. We handled only violent crimes. What I learned fast was that a lot of gun crimes occurred simply because the gun was there when someone was drinking or doing drugs and got mad. What might have been a slugfest turned into a shooting, because a gun, legal or illegal, was nearby. Planned shootings like the Sandy Hook school shooting or more recently the one that ended up at Ft. Detrick are a severe problem, you bet, but a lot of shootings we don't hear about happen unplanned because a gun was there.

wran

Especially in Chicago, Baltimore, Washington DC, Detroit, St Louis, and New Orleans where the vast majority of shootings occur.

gabrielshorn2013

If you were in the criminal court system, Brookhawk, you are well aware that the majority of shootings and violence in Baltimore is from repeat offenders. The cops arrest them, the prosecutors undercharge to maintain their willing percentages, and the judges under-sentence for whatever reason. The Governor tried to meet with the judges, but they refused. This just leads to a revolving door of "justice", where stiff sentences become a slap on the wrist. Michael Hough has a bill pending that would fix that problem and keep those violent offenders locked up, but the majority are dragging their feet in progressing the bill, again, for whatever reason. The bill stiffens the penalties for committing crimes with a firearm, and strengthens Maryland's already strong background checks. Here's a link:

https://trackbill.com/bill/maryland-senate-bill-852-crimes-penalties-and-procedures-violent-firearms-offender-act-of-2021/2021638/

shiftless88

But again, this ignores the access to guns. Countries like Britain have a similar rate of violence but a MUCH lower rate of homicide.

gabrielshorn2013

Nonetheless shiftless, you cannot impede a law-abiding citizen's legal access to firearms without repealing the 2A. You know you will never get 2/3 of both houses to pass such a bill, and 3/4 of the states to ratify such an amendment, as required by Article V of the Constitution. The overwhelmingly vast majority of firearm owners are not criminals. Punish those criminals who use firearms in the commission of their crimes severely, especially repeat offenders. Make examples of them. Can you think of another group who are not more deserving of such harsh treatment?

phydeaux994

Here’s an idea gab..... You can only purchase a gun every two years..It can only be on a Tuesday in November..You must go and wait in line..There is only one gun shop in your County..You must have multiple forms of ID..No one can give you water while you wait....But you can’t impede a citizens Right to buy lethal weapons without repealing the 2A.🐂💩

wran

If you eliminated the gun deaths in the six cities I mentioned: Chicago, Baltimore, Washington DC, Detroit, St Louis, and New Orleans, The United States would rank per capita as one of the countries with the lowest incidence of gun deaths in the world, about the 5th lowest. In most countries there is a higher incidence of gun deaths if gun violence could be vastly reduced or eliminated

gabrielshorn2013

When you're ready to be serious, get back to me phy. The nonsense you just posted is a non sequitur. Click on the link, and read the bill that Hough proposed. Not one Democrat in the assembly signed on to it, despite giving you a lot of what you are asking for (registration is a non starter). Why no support? Just stupid politics as usual.

phydeaux994

It’s sarcasm gab, to make a point about the Conservatives priorities. But back to the debate. Your contention that any form of regulation of firearms is not allowed by the 2A. Evidently you have yet to read Scalia’s opinion in the D.C vs Heller case. He specifically says that regulation of firearms is permissible under the 2A. As far as National Registration, the SCOTUS has never ruled on its Constitutionality. But I am not suggesting that you could start with that but it has yet to be determined whether it’s a nonstarter. As far as my “idea”, I am making the point that impeding a Citizens Right to Vote is far, far worse than impeding them to buy a firearm. But evidently it’s not illegal....yet.

gabrielshorn2013

You know phy, I am wondering if you ever read my full replies. I told you umpteen times now that yes, I have read Heller many times. I have an annotated paper copy in my library, and an electronic copy on my laptop. I also doubt that you have read it in its entirety, other than the passage that you repeatedly quote. I have also said that I am willing to register to be able to exercise my 2A rights, just like I must register to vote. I am also willing to be required to produce that registration card before a purchase, unlike your unwillingness to support voter ID. Paying a registration fee is analogous to paying a poll tax to vote, and it is unconstitutional. So, back to the subject at hand, do you support Hough's bill? Why or why not. Be specific.

phydeaux994

***Anyone of any age can get any gun for any purpose, anonymously and easily.*** No punishment after the crime has been committed addresses reducing gun violence. Only keeping firearms out of the hands of every Tom, Dick, and Harry that can get one on the street corner will make a dent in this scourge of gun violence. Until every gun has a person responsible for its use and security under penalty of law of the daily murders by gun across this Nation will suffice. Just like automobiles and explosives and poisons and other deadly products.

gabrielshorn2013

Yeah, keep saying that phy, and none of what you propose will ever change that. There are over 400 million firearms in the US, and you will never get anything but an extremely small minority of them registered. The vast majority of the population do not abuse their constitutionally guaranteed right to keep and bear arms. Punish those that don't, just like you don't curtail speech, unless someone abuses that right by yelling "fire!" in a movie theater. You still have not said if you support Hough's bill.

phydeaux994

gab, law abiding, honest, upright American Citizens who buy and use guns legally, like I do, are not a huge problem but, based on recent history are becoming more of a problem. The huge problem is with illegal guns that are easily available, especially to people under 25, that are responsible for the majority of the slaughter by gun in America. I am for prevention, you are for cure. In this case it seems there is no cure. So let’s try Prevention, which is always the desirable path to strive for. Hough’s Bill is just another bandaid to make it look like the RRR(RadicalRightRepublicans) care about fixing the problem.

gabrielshorn2013

I figured you would say that phy. You will continue to wish and hope for a pie in the sky solution that will never happen, allowing repeat violent offenders to continually go through Maryland's revolving door of "justice" to kill and kill again. That's not a solution phy. People in jail cannot kill those on the outside. Use a firearm to commit your crime, forfeit a long period of your life. That is prevention. Did you even read Hough's bill, or is this more of your bigotry?

phydeaux994

Tell me gab, do you think you’re going to change the Court System and the Penal System? How many of these criminals that shoot and kill people ever get caught and arrested to be punished for their crimes? This Country has 400 year history of gun violence and the cure you seek has NEVER worked. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is called INSANITY. We know that the Countries that have the strictest gun laws have the lowest rate of gun violence. We know that Hawaii has mandatory Gun Registration and the lowest rate of gun violence. We know that Alaska and Louisiana have the loosest gun laws and the highest rate of gun violence. We know that the inner cities are constantly supplied with guns brought to them by citizens of the wide open gun law States by the car load. We know that thousands of guns are smuggled into Mexico from corrupt manufacturers and dealers. We know that the Gun Lobby doesn’t give a rat’s asss how many Americans are killed and maimed by bullets. Maybe we should try something different.

phydeaux994

WHAT THE HELLER?:

AN ORIGINALIST CRITIQUE OF JUSTICE SCALIA'S

SECOND AMENDMENT JURISPRUDENCE Enrique Schaerer*

In District of Columbia v. Heller, Justice Scalia construed the Second Amendment based on sound textualist principles, as guaranteeing an individual right to keep and bear arms. But to the extent he defined the scope of this right indeterminately, he failed to abide by his originalist principles. This Article argues that the Second Amendment should protect, as a threshold, weapons that can be fairly traced back to weapons in common use at the time of the Framing, rather than, as Justice Scalia suggested, weapons in common use at some ever- changing "present" time. To subject the Second Amendment right to a present-day popularity contest, as Justice Scalia appears to do, is to put this right on ground that is forever uncertain, unstable, and ultimately non-originalist.

gary4books

https://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2021/04/10/3-children-stabbed-to-death-in-reseda-apartment-mother-liliana-carrillo-captured-central-california/

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