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Fort Hood Shooting

By: Kelly Tansor, Copy Editor (ktanso2@uic.edu)

On April 2, 2014, 34-year-old Iraq war veteran Ivan Lopez opened fire at Fort Hood in Texas.  He wounded 16 people and killed 3 before turning the gun on himself.  This, unfortunately, is not the first time this kind of thing has happened at Fort Hood.

Fort Hood has been on edge ever since the shooting in 2009, in which 12 people were killed and 31 were injured.  Of the 2009 shooting, President Obama said “It’s difficult enough when we lose Americans in battle overseas.  It’s horrifying that they should come under fire at an Army base on American soil.”

Once again, Fort Hood is faced with another tragedy as 4 people are dead and 16 wounded after yet another mass shooting at the army base.  The shooter, Ivan Lopez, may have been involved in an argument with another veteran before the shooting, but this is unclear as of now.

While it is apparent that the situation may call in to question the longstanding debate over gun control, a bigger issue we must face now is mental illness.  It has been reported that Lopez may have had PTSD, which is very common among Iraq war veterans.  The married father of one had a history of instability and psychiatric issues.  Though he reportedly was never wounded on the job, at the time of the shooting, he was being treated for anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbances.  Despite this, no one close to him – not even his doctors – suspected that he would be violent toward anyone.

This case is still in its early stages and more information will come out as it becomes known to the public.  Still, this situation brings more light to some of the mental anguish that soldiers go through as a result of war.  All we can do now is hope for more effective treatment for these soldiers so that violence like this does not happen again.  We, as a nation, do not need a third Fort Hood shooting.

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