In less than a year the citizens of Payson have experienced the deaths of two innocent people by guns: a cold blooded shooting of an unarmed man suffering from pancreatic cancer and the accidental death of an 18-month-old shot by his 3-year-old brother.
When such things happen, there is a wringing of hands and the cry, “If we had only seen the signs.” From the articles I have read in the Roundup, there were plenty of signs in both cases before someone died.
The person who killed his neighbor because the deceased’s dog was running loose, had a long history of being mentally unstable; threatening a person walking a dog in Green Valley Park, another similar incident in the state where he came from, and then even bringing a toy gun to a town council meeting ... heck I could read this guy’s signs before he pulled the trigger on his unarmed neighbor.
Next we lost an 18-month-old because of a loaded gun, one of eight or nine guns in the house, left loaded by an old man who also had a history of intimidating his neighbors, including shooting his neighbor’s cat with a BB gun, then shoving the woman when she confronted him.
Signs? Why did this old dude still have all those guns when he was apparently not in control of his faculties?
We throw money at our police department for any kind of program that comes along. Maybe we should spend some of these dollars training an officer or two on how to spot the “signs” and then go the extra step and act on these signs.
Our justice personnel should get on board too. The man who shot his unarmed neighbor last year has not been to trial after many months, and is under house arrest for God’s sake, but still he drives the streets intimidating others. If he loses it again and shoots another citizen or an officer who comes by to check on him, you know what will be said? “We should have seen the signs.”