I was listening to Jake Trapper interview Cory Booker about what Cory would do to stop incidents such as the one in Virginia Beach that recently occurred. All Cory did was attempt to stumble through a response that included federal background checks and finger printing. His attempt was a complete non answer, so I changed the channel.

As a criminal justice major from SFA, in one of my first classes, we had a discussion about mens rea, which is Latin for “guilty mind,” guilty knowledge or intention to commit a prohibited act. The suspect of the Virginia Beach shooting demonstrates the meaning of mens rea. Here we have an individual whose job performance is described as “satisfactory” with no ongoing issues of discipline. He had actually notified his chain of command of his intention to quit via email on Friday, just hours before the shooting. The Virginia Beach city manager also reiterated that the suspect was not fired or in the process of being fired leading up to the shooting. The Virginia Beach Police Chief James Cervera said that there was no “glaring” motive and no information on whether the gunman was targeting a specific person.

What I saw from the news reports was the lack of an AR-15 being involved in the shooting and that the weapons were purchased legally. The last three incidents involving incidents such as the one in Virginia Beach involved the use of handguns and in Japan knives. What many of our presidential candidates are proposing for gun control would take tens of millions of sporting rifles and handguns out of the hands of law abiding citizens. You may be surprised that the AR-15 has only been involved in one-tenth of 1% of mass shootings.

The first act of mens rea was with Cain killing his brother Abel in the first generation which continues to our day and time. We will never be able to know the mind of the perpetrator until the act occurs. Their weapon of choice will always be just whatever they can get their hands on.

Robert Ault,


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