What we lose in the Shadows (A father and daughter True Crime Podcast)

Paradise lost: A mass shooting in Maine.

November 07, 2023 Jameson Keys & Caroline Season 1 Episode 29
Paradise lost: A mass shooting in Maine.
What we lose in the Shadows (A father and daughter True Crime Podcast)
More Info
What we lose in the Shadows (A father and daughter True Crime Podcast)
Paradise lost: A mass shooting in Maine.
Nov 07, 2023 Season 1 Episode 29
Jameson Keys & Caroline

Send us a Text Message.



In a revelatory segment, we unpack the troubling case of Robert Card, an Army reservist grappling with mental health issues yet having alarmingly easy access to firearms. We hold nothing back as we question the efficacy of gun control laws in the United States. The narrative of veterans and their struggles with mental health, homelessness, and inadequate support systems during their transition to civilian life is another pertinent issue we delve into. The episode culminates with the missed signs that lead to the heartbreaking loss of life in a picturesque Maine town. Pushing us us to further question the state of mental health support in our society.

As we wrap up, we extend an earnest plea to our listeners to seek help, especially given the distressing content covered. While we believe in sparking crucial conversations around these challenging issues, we also value your mental wellbeing. So, join us in this thought-provoking exploration, connect with us through our various platforms, and remember, taking care of your mental health is paramount.

CNN.com The Maine gunman text book case for a state law. 11-9-2023
The New York Times the Maine shooter showed warning signs. 11-2-2023
USA Today Who is Robert Card? 10-26-2023
 

Contact us at: whatweloseintheshadows@gmail.com



Background music by Michael Shuller Music

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.



In a revelatory segment, we unpack the troubling case of Robert Card, an Army reservist grappling with mental health issues yet having alarmingly easy access to firearms. We hold nothing back as we question the efficacy of gun control laws in the United States. The narrative of veterans and their struggles with mental health, homelessness, and inadequate support systems during their transition to civilian life is another pertinent issue we delve into. The episode culminates with the missed signs that lead to the heartbreaking loss of life in a picturesque Maine town. Pushing us us to further question the state of mental health support in our society.

As we wrap up, we extend an earnest plea to our listeners to seek help, especially given the distressing content covered. While we believe in sparking crucial conversations around these challenging issues, we also value your mental wellbeing. So, join us in this thought-provoking exploration, connect with us through our various platforms, and remember, taking care of your mental health is paramount.

CNN.com The Maine gunman text book case for a state law. 11-9-2023
The New York Times the Maine shooter showed warning signs. 11-2-2023
USA Today Who is Robert Card? 10-26-2023
 

Contact us at: whatweloseintheshadows@gmail.com



Background music by Michael Shuller Music

Speaker 1:

Good morning and welcome to what we Lose in the Shadows.

Speaker 2:

A Father Daughter True Crime Podcast.

Speaker 1:

My name is Jamison Keyes.

Speaker 2:

I'm Caroline. Good morning everyone. I hope everyone had a good weekend and we're filming this. Yeah, so this week, next week, we will have a long weekend, which is really exciting.

Speaker 1:

You will you will.

Speaker 2:

Well, I'll be working Anyways. So I guess neither one of us will, but someone out there will, someone will, and if you do, please Enjoy it, enjoy it.

Speaker 1:

Enjoy it for both of us.

Speaker 2:

How are you doing?

Speaker 1:

I'm good. How about yourself?

Speaker 2:

I'm doing really well. Actually, I'm really. I'm in a good mood and I wanted to mention I know I made you watch it, watch one episode but I'm caught up at this point with the Golden Bachelor and I know tons of people out there love the Golden Bachelor as much as I do. I think it's so sweet and has such a good message that older people can still find love even if they've already had love in their life, and I think it's beautiful.

Speaker 1:

Um I.

Speaker 2:

You liked it. You liked it when you watched it. Stop playing.

Speaker 1:

Don't tell Caroline I didn't watch it.

Speaker 2:

No, we watched it together. Didn't we watch an episode together? No, yes, we did, we didn't. Oh, we didn't. Oh, I thought I made you watch it, oh wow. Who did I make watch that?

Speaker 1:

I don't know Some other old guy.

Speaker 2:

I don't have old men hanging around. As a lesbian, there's really not many old men around that I uh definite none that I would make watch the Golden Bachelor. Maybe I made mom watch it, I don't know. But maybe I don't think I made her watch it either. I don't know who the hell watched it.

Speaker 1:

Maybe it was us. It was not me, though I can tell you that.

Speaker 2:

Well, I will be making you watch it at some point. It's really sweet, and I never got into the bachelor or the bachelorette, uh ever, and I've never watched any of them. But neither.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, no, a lot of people like them. So when they came out with the golden bachelor, that's when my girlfriend and I were like, yes, we need to watch this because it sounds, it's just so wholesome. You know, like a bunch of like older people, everyone's 60 or above dating Like it's just sweet. What they need. What they need is to have a deaf and hard of hearing bachelor bachelorette. I think that would be so cool because then they could just have like interpreters and they could do voiceovers and everything with the interpreters and I don't know. I just think it would be so cool. But before that, I'm sure they'll have the bachelorette, the golden bachelorette, like to have an older woman first, and they still haven't had a gay one.

Speaker 1:

No, that is crazy.

Speaker 2:

It's been 20 years and they still haven't been like maybe we should have a gay one.

Speaker 1:

Do you think women would be okay with being the golden bachelorette?

Speaker 2:

Absolutely.

Speaker 1:

Really.

Speaker 2:

Oh yeah, you should see the woman on the show. Like they're like not ashamed of their age at all.

Speaker 1:

Right, but he's the golden bachelorette. Yeah, you know what I mean. So it's, I don't know, I don't know. I just think age is such an uneven thing for men and women. I mean, for example, men if, like, for example, I'm starting to get a little gray on the corners here and just the corners, just the corners, not just the corners. Wow, really Rear, but anyways no. And people will people come up and say I love you know, I love that little, that salt and pepper thing going on. And I think there's a double standard, because all too often, if women let their hair go gray, sometimes they're saying well, you know, you should dye that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I totally agree.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so men can be distinguished, but women are just kind of labeled as old and I'm not sure I. You know that's a bad thing.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but maybe that would help like the stigma you know like have like the golden bachelorette, because you should see some of these women on the on the show. Yeah, they are literally striking Right, striking with their gray hair Like it's. It's like silver, you know, it's really beautiful.

Speaker 1:

Your grandmother had beautiful, kind of like a sable colored hair and she dyed it. For we're really getting so far off track. I apologize. No, it's fine, but no, she, she, she died over some years, you can skip it if you want. She died it for so many years and then, when she let it go, it was just silver. I mean just like silver.

Speaker 2:

Yeah yeah, hopefully I get that gene. I think it'd be pretty with curls.

Speaker 1:

Oh, for sure, Right, I'm happy. So cool Curls.

Speaker 2:

But we'll see, we shall see. I think it's a beautiful thing to age, you know, and to be allowed, like the privilege to age, and this, um, this podcast reminds me of that a lot that, like, not everyone gets to to grow old, true.

Speaker 1:

That is true.

Speaker 2:

You know it's unfair.

Speaker 2:

So, like you know, I have a I have a really close friend who is uncomfortable with the, the idea of aging um, which is totally valid, you know, and I'm sure that, like there'll be pros and cons and like I will feel like uncomfortable with it sometimes, but like I imagine myself like later in life having like smile lines and, like you know, crow's feet, and I think it's really beautiful, cause it shows, like how much of life you've actually lived.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so I don't know the trigger warnings today are a mass shooting, domestic violence and child murder. That being said, um, if I know, a lot of people have mass shooting triggers, even if they haven't actually been involved with a mass shooting or, you know, had someone they know involved with the mass shooting. But it's common and I think a lot of us are very scared of it. So if that's not your thing, feel free to skip this one, because I know it can be really triggering for some people. But I do think that there's a lot of importance by telling the stories For sure, and we've done a lot of different things.

Speaker 1:

We've done, you know, um missing persons, and we've done, you know, serial killers and things like that. I'm not sure we've ever talked about this before, but it's so it's um. It's happened just so recently, just a few weeks back.

Speaker 2:

It's very prevalent. I'm sure there's been another one that we don't even know about. Isn't that scary?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, because you know, the very definition of a mass shooting is one person killing four people. So it probably happens every day, every day somewhere. But the ones that really get the notoriety are the unfortunately, the the more.

Speaker 1:

Yeah right and this shocking ones, shocking ones, and this was both of those things. So on October 25th, which was just a couple of weeks ago, a man entered the Justin Time bowling alley and McGeagy's bar and grill, and he was carrying at least one long rifle. According to the eyewitness that survived the census rampage, 18 people were killed and they ranged in age from 14 to 76. Among them was a younger boy, and he was bowling with his dad and contestants at a cornhole tournament for the deaf community.

Speaker 2:

This is something that definitely pulls at my heartstrings the child, of course, but also the deaf community, because a lot of the times, like deaf people they gather in these places and me being involved in the deaf community, it breaks my heart to see that, like those spaces are also getting like overtaken by violence.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 2:

When you know deaf people and hard of hearing people have overcome so much already. That being said, there's also interpretive versions ASL interpretive versions of our episodes on YouTube. If you search what we lose in the shadows podcast, that's our YouTube panel, and so all of our episodes are either already interpreted and downloaded or uploaded, not downloaded, uploaded or in the process of being interpreted and uploaded.

Speaker 1:

Right. And so not only were there actually deaf people at this shooting and involved in it as well, but there was, I believe, in the fatalities. I think there was an ASL interpreter in addition to that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, A lot of ASL interpreters are like deep in the community, myself included. I have tons of deaf friends but yeah, that is tragic.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely tragic. The shooter was later identified as Robert Carr and he was an army reservist. And Carr was someone very, very familiar with firearms. He was actually a firearms instructor at the local army base. It's terrifying. Yeah, and he was an employee of Maine Recycling Corporation.

Speaker 2:

A recycling corporation? Yeah, that's interesting.

Speaker 1:

After the violence, I thought he's conducted an extensive 48 hour manhunt and that marked one of the deadliest shootings in the United States this year and definitely the deadliest shooting in the state of Maine.

Speaker 2:

Ever right. Ever, and it's a real violence, especially gun violence, because it's a blue state.

Speaker 1:

Well, it is.

Speaker 2:

Isn't it a blue state? I'm pretty sure it is. Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1:

There are only two murders in the entire state last year.

Speaker 2:

And this literally just almost came up to 18. Wow, that's intense.

Speaker 1:

With many men and where people harmed and injured.

Speaker 2:

That's crazy.

Speaker 1:

So, while questions remain over the motivations for the attack and why those locations were targeted, previous warnings about Carr are starting to come to light and raising questions about how authorities handle the warning signs and also his access to firearms.

Speaker 2:

What do you think Carr has per?

Speaker 1:

usual, the county sheriff's office was contacted on May 3rd by Carr's family, who said that they were concerned for his wellbeing and that he shared access or had access to firearms.

Speaker 2:

His own family.

Speaker 1:

His own family oh my God. Yeah, actually the documents show that Carr's 18 year old son oh my God Was the first to report that his father, you know, was accusing people of talking about him since January. Now he was starting to have trouble with his hearing as well, which may be why he was familiar with some of these folks in the deaf community.

Speaker 2:

That's very tragic.

Speaker 1:

So the email also alleges that Carr got into an altercation with three of his friends that were also soldiers in West Point on July 15th. Carr was accused of pushing one of the soldiers and making threats about someone who had called him pedophile and they were like look. When his friends talked to him they said look, knock it off, because you know you're gonna get in trouble. Talking about shooting up places and people, and Carr had actually punched this gentleman into the statement and he mentioned that you know he had a bunch of guns and he was gonna go shoot up the drill center at SACO, which was the Army Reserve base.

Speaker 2:

That is horrible. I just feel like we need better preventative protocols for this, because this is, you know, a lot of the times. We have so many warning signs before these mass shootings. Like everyone, it's so sad and I just feel like we need to develop better protocols on how to handle situations like this.

Speaker 1:

For sure. So after speaking with the family, the deputy contacted the third battalion of the 304th training group to help Carr to receive medical attention. Carr was taken to a psychiatric hospital where he spent two weeks before being released Not a lot of time to diagnose a mental problem. The Army in July said that Carr should not have weapons and should not handle ammunition nor participate in any live fire activities, after people were saying he was behaving erratically.

Speaker 2:

That's good.

Speaker 1:

In September, an Army Reserve unit that he belonged to reached out to the sheriff's office again and asked for a wellness check and, according to a soldier, he was expressing that you know that the reservists might snap and commit a mass shooting.

Speaker 2:

Oh my gosh.

Speaker 1:

Now, about two months later.

Speaker 2:

What happened with the wellness check?

Speaker 1:

They did. They went out and tried to perform a wellness check and weren't able to get in touch with Carr.

Speaker 2:

Okay.

Speaker 1:

Which a wellness check can be. You know a lot of different things. They went there, they knocked on the door. He never came to the door. They did it a couple of times and then you know more pressing things I guess actually happened.

Speaker 2:

I called a wellness check on a friend once and because they were supposed to call me, and I fell asleep and then I woke up again and they hadn't called me.

Speaker 2:

And it's been three hours and I was like, oh, that's weird. So I tried to call them. It was like 1 am and I'm like what the hell? And this was someone I was dating, so that kind of friend. So I was very concerned. I was like they should have called, you know, and I couldn't get in touch with them. I tried our friends in common. They hadn't heard from them. So I called a wellness check Whole time. They were literally just passed out drunk in their apartment.

Speaker 1:

If that were only the problem. Yeah, when these things happen.

Speaker 2:

I know I was.

Speaker 1:

But yeah. So a deputy went out to Card's home on September 15th and then again on September 16th, but didn't see him and repeatedly tried to knock on the door and get someone to come to the door. Card never did no. Whether he was there or not, no one knows. So the sheriff's office issued an alert to other law enforcement agencies about Card, stating that he was armed and dangerous.

Speaker 2:

Yikes.

Speaker 1:

The sheriff's office said that this is called a file 19. So the file 19 alert said, and it's common when law enforcement is trying to locate a person that might have some issues. But they wanna get that out. There the information, so more people can be looking for.

Speaker 2:

It's not like a search warrant or not a search warrant, a warrant of arrest.

Speaker 1:

So the file 19 alerts just go to law enforcement, but it doesn't go as far as a warrant. This is basically just an alert. Listen, there might be something going on here. Keep your eyes open. This guy's potentially dangerous. He certainly has military training, firearms training.

Speaker 2:

So just keep your eyes open. I wonder why they didn't issue like a warrant of arrest because he was making threats on everyone's lives. Strange that they wouldn't go and remove his firearms from him.

Speaker 1:

Well, so Robert had been suffering from psychotic episodes and he was hearing voices, and you and I discussed hearing voices as something not necessarily evil, but something that's certainly no no, I don't think people who hear voices are evil.

Speaker 2:

I do think that, like you know, it can be really tough to distinguish. I have worked with communities that you know have had mental health issues, which include psychosis and like hearing voices, and Definitely you know the people are not evil, right right.

Speaker 1:

But I think it's but the reactions sometimes can be.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, of course, but that's anyone. It's not as much as the actions, but I just I think what really distinguishes that group of people is having difficulty understanding what is real and what is, you know, a hallucination, like a hallucination. And so you know, anyone that's like having like consistent hallucinations probably shouldn't have firearms of any sort.

Speaker 1:

No doubt about that. There's absolutely no doubt about that. So they did send out this information that he was a firearms instructor and that he made threats to shoot up the National Guard Armory, and then he had been committed over the summer for a couple weeks because of an altered mental health state.

Speaker 2:

I just feel like that's enough, that should be enough. I hope at some point they put into law that this is enough to take someone's firearms away, because no one needs that.

Speaker 1:

We'll get into that in just a little bit.

Speaker 2:

Oh, okay, sorry, I'm jumping, that's okay.

Speaker 1:

But they also said you know, if you locate him, please use extreme caution, Dear God. His ex-wife also told the deputy that Card had picked up 10 to 15 handguns and firearms.

Speaker 2:

Where.

Speaker 1:

Well, they were actually at his brother's house, according to her.

Speaker 2:

Who needs 10 to 15 handguns and firearms?

Speaker 1:

Well, I mean exactly. That's a great point, but she also said that she and her son were planning to stay away from Card.

Speaker 2:

That is terrifying. I'm glad that they communicated. They definitely did their due diligence with that, because communication is definitely the biggest key, I think, with these situations, and it seems like a lot of people were in communication with law enforcement about this.

Speaker 1:

So the deputy spoke to Card's unit commander who confirmed that Card no longer had any weapons from the reserve unit with him and the commander also advised that he didn't have access to the area anymore, that all his weapons had been removed.

Speaker 2:

So was he discharged.

Speaker 1:

No, he wasn't discharged. The commander also advised them to back down a bit, saying that might not be a good idea to force a contact. So they canceled the File 6 Alert on October 18th, exactly one week before the mass shooting.

Speaker 2:

Oh, my God.

Speaker 1:

There's an organization called the Violence Project and it's a nonprofit that tracks mass shootings, which is defined as, as we said before, as four or more people murdered in one event. But, to be clear, only a fraction of the people with military backgrounds become mass shooters. But military experience is something. There's something disproportionate about that, about the numbers.

Speaker 2:

Well, I think one reason is that military and veterans often don't have access to mental health services or see it in a way that is frowned upon.

Speaker 1:

Well, sure, because if you are in the military or somehow related to the military and you show that sort of a problem, it would reduce, it might get you kicked out of the military. Yeah, james Densley, the co-founder of the Violence Project, says what we all know that most military personnel have successful lives after their service and that we're very grateful for the contribution that they may.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely. However, I do think that there needs to be, like, enough access to mental health services because, especially like if you're being deployed or I mean I feel like a lot of military even if they're not deployed or in high stress situations, and so you know, I think that there should be less of a stigma around mental health services for those who are in the military or work for the military, because it's not just PTSD, you know, it's depression, it's anxiety and like I don't necessarily think that if you have any of those that you should have your weapons taken away and I'm not sure of the protocols for the military for that but I think that you know, having access to good mental health services and someone to discuss like your emotional well-being with is super important in any situation, especially high stress situations.

Speaker 1:

A CBS news analysis of the data shows that 26% of mass shootings over the last six decades have had military service or military training in their background. That's high compared to the general US adult population, which is like 7%. So fewer than one in 10 people has military background, according to the US Census Bureau.

Speaker 2:

Wow.

Speaker 1:

Not all of them were deployed. Some of them actually, you know, just went through basic training, but they do have some kind of a through line, a military connection in those histories. Denzli said that we actually have 14 or 15 mass shooters in our database that were actually marksmen or snipers in the military.

Speaker 2:

That's very intense.

Speaker 1:

Because you know, there's some skills that they're learned in the military which lend themselves to mass shootings and that sort of thing.

Speaker 2:

Wow, that's so scary.

Speaker 1:

It's important to remember, though, that studies reveal there's never just one reason for someone committing one of these violence acts. Often, there are underlying mental health concerns as well. According to the analysis.

Speaker 2:

Well, I think that is the main reason. Right Is a mental health issue.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 2:

Or like a breakdown, or you know, high stress mixed with mental health, because I don't think anyone who is doing well whatever commit like a mass murder.

Speaker 1:

No, absolutely. You know what I mean, so I do think that's the common thread. Right.

Speaker 2:

And I feel like you know the best way to prevent that is like by requiring or highly encouraging for everyone, especially those in the military, to seek out mental health services, and making that accessible for everyone.

Speaker 1:

For sure. According to Denzli, people in the military often deal with behavioral challenges and mental health problems. In some cases, that was actually the reason why they were discharged from the military and it seems to be that there's. An integration back into civilian life can be difficult at some times and having struggling, trying to piece their life back together. I think it's that mix which is probably what the underpinning of some of these attacks are. I'm curious Do you remember the guy that kidnapped the girl from her house and killed her parents and hit her on the-?

Speaker 2:

Oh yeah, yep.

Speaker 1:

So that we discussed? Yeah, that we discussed. So if you remembered that, do you recall? He tried to get into the Marines, yeah, but he was kicked out of Marines and kind of floundered and kind of struggled ever since then, leading to that act. So it's horrible.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it really truly is horrible, but I feel like maybe and I'm not sure if there is such a thing, but it reminds me of kind of like adult protective services and how people in certain situations whether it be homelessness, mental health, like severe mental health issues or developmental delays people in group homes, like all different types of addiction, all different types of situations, have case managers.

Speaker 2:

And so I'm curious if those that are discharged or leave even just leave voluntarily the military, if they have something similar to that like a case manager that helps them, like re-.

Speaker 1:

Acclimate them to society.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and to society? Do they have that? Do you know?

Speaker 1:

I don't know, but I think that's a great idea, I'm curious and they probably do. They probably do.

Speaker 2:

I'm curious though, because it seems like they don't, because this seems like it would come up.

Speaker 1:

Well, if you'll notice like there's an awful high percentage also of people that are homeless, that have former military training as well, yes, it's very, very sad. It is, it is, and you know I mean, it's a terrible thing. My father was a World War II veteran your grandfather and once in a while he would, in the middle of the night, have PTSD and scream and yell and stuff like that, which, as a child, is terrifying, you know, and I would always, always trying to protect my mother, I would burst into their bedroom.

Speaker 2:

That's so sweet.

Speaker 1:

Like a seven year old ninja of some sort Very protective, very protective For seven. That's right for seven and you know she would be there trying to. She's saying it's okay, you know fun and I would ask him sometime. He never wanted to talk about it and I think all too often that they deal and see things that are just so far beyond what normal people have to deal with mentally.

Speaker 2:

At least people in our country.

Speaker 1:

Right, well, yeah right, but they're so far beyond the normal everyday interactions that sometimes they just can't.

Speaker 2:

It's very traumatic.

Speaker 1:

That's what I mean.

Speaker 2:

But, like my thing is that oftentimes, like there are tools that you know mental health professionals can you know help people with and help implement them into their everyday routines that really drastically help these situations, but for some reason there's such a stigma about it. In our society, not just the military, but probably even more so the military, but in our society in general, and I really think it's really important to break this down, because we would be a healthier, happier society if people had access to mental health services.

Speaker 1:

I agree, I agree and I'm a proponent of basically we spend so much money and send so much money all over the world for stupid things. Or we send money to do ridiculous studies on how a cow belching actually affects the ozone layer Just ridiculous things, right? I think a baseline. Even if you don't wanna give people everyone healthcare in this country, I think mental health care should be, at the very least, something that everyone should have access to, honestly. And the thing about the military folks is they do?

Speaker 2:

They definitely need it.

Speaker 1:

Well and they do have access but like, for example, you can go to the Veterans Administration if you're a veteran and they do have mental health people that work there. Now the problem I talked to a military person not long ago and there's a real if they've seen a lot of violence and so on, there's a distrust sometimes of the authorities and that sort of thing for some reason, and the last thing they wanna do is go to some place that might actually confine them because of some of the visions and some of the PTSD things that they're experiencing. So it can be.

Speaker 2:

So maybe not veteran affairs, then Maybe like a non-profit focused on mental health services for people in the military that's separate entirely from the government because therapists just regular counselors, social workers, therapists, they're not gonna confine you. They're just there to work through things with you, as long as you're not thinking about hurting yourself or hurting other people.

Speaker 1:

Right, absolutely, absolutely so, Robert Card. He was only 40 and he was discovered near the river about 10 miles away from the community of Lewiston that he shot up from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was found inside of a box trailer sitting in an overflow parking in the main recycling corporation where he worked and where he was laid off from.

Speaker 2:

Wow.

Speaker 1:

Card had, as I said, been recently fired from the recycling center. A law enforcement official told CNN Some of those trailers were locked and some of the trailers aren't. He was found inside one of the boxes that had been unlocked from the outside. Two firearms were found alongside Card's body.

Speaker 2:

That's very sad.

Speaker 1:

And he was wearing the same T-shirt that he was wearing on Wednesday night when the shooting occurred, so it's unclear as to when he took his life, but it could have been directly after the shooting. The main governor, janet Mills, said that she, like others, was relieved that the manhunt was over and the fear was over for the community.

Speaker 2:

Although the fear never leaves right, Especially if you're immediate community becomes like the target of mass shooting. Like I know, I personally, if I'm ever out in like a big crowd, I get nervous. For example, my girlfriend and I went to the movie theaters the other day. A man walked in with a backpack and was like looking around, not taking a seat, and we literally were terrified. We literally lost like five minutes of movie. He walked back out and then we were even scared, like more scared, and I was like why was he in here with this backpack? Like I don't understand. He didn't even sit down. We literally, like you know, we're totally distracted from the movie and it's just like, yeah, it's really sad because you know I look around sometimes and if there's a loud noise, like everyone like goes down a little bit until they realize oh, it's okay, it's okay.

Speaker 2:

It's very slight but you know, I think like our entire community, as the United States of America, is traumatized by these shootings.

Speaker 1:

Well, sure, because per capita we have more than any place else on the planet.

Speaker 2:

It's very sad. I just I really hope that you know we figure out a way out of this because it's it's tough.

Speaker 2:

It's tough to think like, oh, yeah, I want to bring children into this. Like, yeah, I want to send my children to school. That's scary, that's so scary, it's even scary. Sometimes I work in the schools Like I get nervous too. I was involved with the lockdown not too long ago. You remember, like, and there was a student who did bring in a gun and there was no shooting. But you know it's traumatizing. And I remember after that there was a lockdown, maybe like four months later at a different school, and I was working in the elementary school that time and that wasn't the same school, it was the other school was at a high school level. The student who did bring a gun but I was working at the elementary school level and you know the children, they know you know like we're like okay, we're going to have a lockdown in case a stranger comes in. They're like oh, like, in case someone comes to try to kill us with a gun.

Speaker 1:

Oh my.

Speaker 2:

God, the kids, the kids seven and eight. They know and I'm not saying they shouldn't know, because you know you do want to like let them know what's going on in the world. I understand that and that's how I would choose to parent as well. But it is truly heartbreaking and like, during the lockdown, I found myself like breathing heavy, like I was like anxious, you know, like it was a little triggering. I looked over at one of the other people that was working, like one of the other adults in the room, and she was literally in tears, like she was like this is so scary, it's so sad, you know. And then they're like okay, thanks for practicing the drill, go back to school. Like, and it's just like you want to just like hug these little kids. Because it's like, are you kidding? Like, and the kids, you know they're very resilient and they just absorb everything. So they're just like okay, cool, we're done. And like the adults are shaken for the rest of the day.

Speaker 1:

Well, but but is that that's partly part of their wiring and partly because of the fact that they don't really understand what could possibly happen? Right? I don't think they kind of conceptually do, but they don't really think it's going to.

Speaker 2:

Right, maybe I'm not sure, it's just, it's so strange.

Speaker 1:

And adults. Unfortunately, we're all too aware that it can happen.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, because we see it every five seconds on our like news feed.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely so, and it's interesting. The community has kind of rallied around. They were able to have Halloween, although I'm sure people were still a little nervous about the whole thing. But he had been found before Halloween. So the community had, you know, bad Halloween. Look, a football team had a. You know a moment of silence for all those people that were lost.

Speaker 2:

That's good.

Speaker 1:

And a guy I work for. Actually his son plays in a youth hockey organization in Lewiston.

Speaker 2:

Oh, wow.

Speaker 1:

At the time of the shooting. He was actually. They have a little thing where they teach little kids how to skate and how to play hockey. He was actually in the arena, which isn't too far from the bowling alley.

Speaker 2:

That's so scary yeah and it's terrifying.

Speaker 1:

He couldn't go home because it was really close to the shooting, so he couldn't actually go home.

Speaker 2:

And then I mean, that must have been so terrifying for your friend.

Speaker 1:

Right, oh for sure.

Speaker 2:

And then for your friend's son, who was there with all the children, like and he's picturing, you know, like, okay, if this guy comes in here, what am I gonna do? Right right which kids am I gonna help? How sad is that. Which kids am I gonna grab?

Speaker 1:

right, they're, actually it's McGeagy's which was the bar when he came in and started firing. They're at the bowling alley, rather one, because not only was it, you know, not only was it the the, you know, the Cornhole tournament for the deaf community there, but there's also like a child's bowling night going on and you know, one of the adults Was shepherding the kids out of the back of the building and unfortunately he was. He was shot and killed so disturbing, oh it is it's kids?

Speaker 2:

were able to get out.

Speaker 1:

Yes, that's great, that is great.

Speaker 2:

That's great, you know, and it's interesting because I think a lot of the times, like you think, like, oh, like I would want to do this in this situation and those people are so important, but like it's also just so sad to see like those good people that are like willing to help their communities lose their lives over someone who's deranged.

Speaker 1:

The, the local hockey team actually had just, I think was on Thursday of last week, they had a game and they actually they, they had, they had this kind of ceremony and they had a Hockey jersey brought out with the number 18 on it, which was the number people killed and as a fundraiser and so on. So, yeah, it's, it's amazing that this happens so often and it's equally as amazing how resilient and how Comforting communities can be, especially like this. Lewiston is a town of 30,000 people. It's not gigantic, no, but it's still the second largest city in all of Maine, right, yeah, that's so, um, but you know, I'm sure they never thought in a million years they would have to be dealing with this now.

Speaker 2:

I mean, I wonder when. The last mass shooting there was probably years and years ago.

Speaker 1:

If yeah, who knows?

Speaker 2:

I mean I'm sure there was one, the average 22 murders in a year. So so not a lot.

Speaker 1:

Never have been Something of that scale, is something that's probably not.

Speaker 2:

I mean, that is just so tragic.

Speaker 1:

Right, so you'd mentioned something earlier and Maine is actually known as a yellow flag state and it's the only one of its kind in the nation. The law was enacted in 2020 and co-sponsored by Republican State Senator Lisa Kime. By contrast, massachusetts has a red flag law. I was trying to understand the difference between the two things to better get a grasp on how enforcement have law enforcement handles Situations like this. Massachusetts allows relatives or roommates to apply for a court order if they believe a gun owner Is a violent threat. If the judge approves the order, the gun odor must Temporarily surrender their guns and license for their guns.

Speaker 2:

That's great.

Speaker 1:

This can be appealed and they can get their guns back. Now, maine is a so-called yellow flag state and it has a few extra steps in the middle. So someone who's suspected of gun owners that isn't, you know, an imminent threat, whether that be a close relative, you know, or whatever Can report this to the local police and then the local law enforcement can handle it by taking the person into protective custody. Which they did not do which they did not do and I wonder why well, they'd never done it before this.

Speaker 2:

This was an active recent you said 2020, okay, okay.

Speaker 1:

So they put the person in protective custody to get a mental health evaluation.

Speaker 2:

It's a great idea and then.

Speaker 1:

But then they have to go back to the court to obtain on order to confiscate the guns temporarily. Then, and only then can a court order Do you temporarily suspend the gun license and remove the guns?

Speaker 2:

So is the person who is deemed possibly a threat. Are they in the mental hospital the entire time while they're waiting for that, or no?

Speaker 1:

depends. Depends on what they find right, because a lot of people can make Claims right and you would hope that no one would do this maliciously, just to yeah, but I'm sure it happens.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, but it happens right of course. So in my opinion, okay. So Maine has the extra steps in the middle. So so to be clear, and I'm not, I don't, I've. I grew up in Pennsylvania and you know my parents, my father, we went deer hunting, on that sort of thing and there was a necessity for us because of that period of time we needed we did to make a. You know, the inflation was very high and that sort of thing, and we needed to somehow Forge the gap between what we had and what we had to spend, right. So deer hunting and that sort of thing and venison Kind of helped us do just that and you ate it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, oh, that makes sense, you know we didn't, we didn't keep the racks, we gave this way and all this kind of stuff, but it was a necessity. We hunted and, because we had to, to eat exactly that makes sense. I don't own guns, right, I didn't have guns around children because that my personal opinion was that it's unsafe. Well, it can be unsafe depending on how you do it. There's some people that it can do it very well if they're locked away.

Speaker 2:

They're locked away and that's sort of appropriate things like right a lot of safeguarding because, like I mean, having a gun in the House is an inherent risk. So there are statistics that prove, having a gun in the house, you will. I mean you have a higher rate of you know your child dying by accidental firing.

Speaker 1:

That may well be so, but but, like I said, we didn't have access to the guns Unless we were going hunting. They weren't around the house, they were locked up somewhere. I never looked for him, I never wanted to see him.

Speaker 2:

But what if you had? You know what I mean kids are, kids are my father was really serious about it. He, he but imagine if I had wanted to find. You know what I mean. Like if I had a child wanted to find the gun, I would find it Well.

Speaker 1:

I know they were locked away. It wasn't something just laying around, it was locked away. I didn't know how to pick a lock, certainly, so you know. But but and my father was very, very serious about this is what it is for, it's not a toy. If you're ever at someone's house and they produce a gun, you walk the hell out of there. And I told I told your brother that as well if any of his friends actually produced a gun, then call me, and I don't know, I'll come and get you. But yeah, you told me to, yeah, and you too so, but it's so much more likely that a boy would you know.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but like if young girls are hanging out with little boys right, right, but so so I'm.

Speaker 1:

If you're a hunter in and you and you want to hunt and you want to have you know guns, you know that's, that's, that's great, right. If you don't like guns and don't want to have me run your children, that's great too.

Speaker 2:

It's all a personal choice, yeah and I'm not one, as I was safe with it.

Speaker 1:

I was always just safe with it, but I'm not one to want to go in and grab everyone's guns right, Because I think that's that could lead to two issues as well.

Speaker 2:

I personally have other opinions. I do not think that guns are necessary for our nation, especially the Machine guns. I think those are actually ridiculous and it's disturbing so that anyone who Doesn't have any training can go and pick one up and someone who just wants it because they think they're cool can go Pick up something that can kill hundreds of people. It's disgusting to me.

Speaker 1:

So so. So a machine gun and an AR-15, those are two different things. Oh, they're different, they're different. I like a submachine or something like that fires literally Sony more rounds, whereas an AR-15 is, it's a. Every time you pull the trigger, there's a, you know there's a, there's a shot. Now you can add bump stocks and I don't want to get into this whole thing, but it's, it's so. The word AR doesn't mean a assault rifle. It's not an assault rifle per se. It is. It is a powerful gun, it can fire a lot of rounds quickly, but but it's not technically a machine gun, just to make that clear.

Speaker 1:

That is helpful, because I didn't know right, but if someone like you said if someone wants to do harm as someone else, it doesn't matter if they have a Six shooting pistol or a knife or whatever. If they want to do harm, then they can do that. Now the thing about rifles like this gentleman had, I believe is an AR-15 is that the, the Ciclical rate, the amount of exactly you can fire it's so much higher than something like that.

Speaker 2:

I mean, and when we're talking about, like, mass shootings, I think we often go to how many people were killed. Numbers, right, we want to like look at numbers, like statistically, that's just like sure you know what we're thinking about. But we have to remember that each Person that died was a person who their, their loss and their death impacts Hundreds of people, their family, their people, their community. You know what I mean. Like I mean, this has impacted so many people we can't even count the number.

Speaker 2:

And so if we could save just one life by taking away all of that category of like so if we could, you know, just save a few lives by not having access, open access to just anyone who wants these. I mean it's priceless. You know what I mean. Like it's literally priceless because just one less person who isn't dead, you can't put a price on it. You know what I mean. Like you really can't. Like it's so, so important.

Speaker 1:

Right when you look at the numbers. The numbers show that five years since the red flag law was implemented in Massachusetts, it's only been used 57 times. Of those 57 times, 38 emergency orders have been issued and suspended gun license temporarily that were taken from the potentially dangerous individuals. Still, a gun control advocates like Margaret Groban from the main gun safety coalition says her red flag law is a much better model than what they have in Maine right now. We're the only state in the country she said it has a yellow flag law and I'd like to say that we are the outlier, not the model. The yellow places way too many burdens on the people trying to make sure people are safe. If the goal is to get firearms away quickly out of the hands of people who could potentially be dangerous, then why not go all the way and have a red flag law?

Speaker 2:

Absolutely.

Speaker 1:

So, given the seemingly low numbers in Massachusetts that use the red flag law, the president of the Massachusetts chief of police association says it's likely that more of the public information on the law would lead to its use. Perhaps it's a public service campaign that comes out of this tragedy in Maine and perhaps that could help Massachusetts citizens as well as citizens of Maine, said chief Thomas W Fowler.

Speaker 2:

So what other states have the red flag law? So I did take a break to look it up and we have figured out that there are red flag laws, also known as risk based gun removal laws, also known as extreme risk protection orders, currently being served in Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington and the District of Columbia.

Speaker 1:

So how many is that?

Speaker 2:

Let's see One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10, 11, 12, 13.

Speaker 1:

13.

Speaker 2:

So they do have other similar things in New Mexico, virginia, illinois, hawaii, california, delaware, florida, connecticut and Indiana. So that's 21 states in the District of Columbia that have enacted some form of red flag law, which is low, it is Very low. It's less than half.

Speaker 1:

It is low, but given the fact of what's happening, I think two things. I think that most states, if not all states, should have a red flag law in place.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely.

Speaker 1:

And I also think that every state in the union should have an augmented mental health policy.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely.

Speaker 1:

Because, as we said before, the guns aren't necessarily. The guns are certainly a part of it, but the mental health portion of the problem is the thing. But the biggest part, I think, is the fact that so many people are hurting in the United States, so many people have underlying mental health problems, and if we really wanna solve this and I think everyone really does right- I hope so. I hope so too.

Speaker 2:

Sometimes it seems like that's not the case, though.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely so. But if that is indeed the case, then I think that our legislators, I think that the president of the United States, the Congress, the Senate and everyone else should honestly really start thinking about the problems. Not only gun violence, right, but also suicide, also physical violence or rape and those kinds of things. Rape is a huge issue too, it's all interrelated to people that have problems with mental health problems.

Speaker 2:

Right, I agree. Mental health is like literally one of the worst issues that we've ever seen globally even. And it's just. It's so sad because there are ways to treat this. You know what I mean. We have options to help curb these horrible negative situations happening.

Speaker 1:

For sure. For sure, because I mean, let's face it, how many times have you seen when someone is being sentenced for murder or for a mass murder or something like that, how many times have you seen the defendant go? If I could only go back in time and not do that, if I could only take it back, maybe these laws that just temporarily take these people into protective custody for their own safety as well as others, and then look and see is this someone that should?

Speaker 2:

or help them, or help them get back to a better place. My thing is is that if people are not of the sound mind to have a gun, if they're not a stable person. No one's community needs that. No one needs that. You know what I mean. Like we have to protect the community above individuals and their rights if they aren't able to make sound judgment with those rights.

Speaker 1:

For sure. Do you know what I mean? Absolutely. There are some people, so obviously criminals, I think, should perpetually, not, ever be allowed to.

Speaker 2:

I think it depends on the crime.

Speaker 1:

Well, yes, violent criminals.

Speaker 2:

Violent criminals should never have access to weapons. Exactly Right? Yeah, absolutely not.

Speaker 1:

So anyways, but yes, there's a multi-pronged approach to it. Certainly, these laws, I think, are something beneficial to look at in every state. Certainly, I think the whole mental health problem in the United States is something solvable, is something that we should all have access to, because everyone, every once in a while, needs a little bit of help, right?

Speaker 2:

And also everyone can benefit from these. I think we really need to destigmatize mental health services, therapy, counseling, like having any mental health neurodivergence, because having anxiety does not make you crazy.

Speaker 2:

That's my thing. I think a lot of people think that, having any sort of mental health diagnosis, you shouldn't be allowed to do this, that or whatever. That's not true. There are levels, there are tiers to if you're a threat or not, and my anxiety does not make me a threat, but I think that everyone can benefit from therapy and if you want therapy, I totally think that you should get that. And I just want to mention how profoundly sorry we are to the family members of those who lost loved ones in this mass shooting, and everyone deserves to feel safe in their communities.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely and far too many times, I think people think that asking for help is a sign of weakness.

Speaker 2:

It's not.

Speaker 1:

But honestly, if you're really looking at it from the right way, asking for help is actually a sign of strength.

Speaker 2:

It is and love and love for your community, love for yourself.

Speaker 1:

So, absolutely so. This was a very, this was a terrible situation and it's certainly something that we need to find a handle on and get this solved. And for all those people that lost loved ones in that shooting and any mass shooting, in every mass shooting, our heart is with you.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely Follow the show on whatever streaming site you're listening on.

Speaker 1:

And remember. All of the source material will be available in the show notes.

Speaker 2:

And follow us on Instagram at what we lose in the shadows and let us know if you want to hear a specific case or if you just want to give us some feedback. Ok, join us in the shadows next Tuesday. Bye.

Mass Shooting and Aging
Military Soldier Mental Health and Firearms Access
Veteran Mental Health and Mass Shootings
Gun Control Laws and Mental Health
Addressing Mass Shootings and Seeking Help