There are some interesting commentaries on the Packing.org discussion groups, with most people as confused as I am.
The latest material I've seen is that the killer has a history of violent spouse abuse, which would be consistent with previous spree murderers. Still, a lot of questions still waiting to be answered.
A couple of points I'd like to consider:
•Return fire. The victims were hunters; by defnition, they had guns. Was this (as one poster on Packing.org suggested) a failure of mindset on the part of the victims, the classic I can't believe this is happening?
•Diss'ing the gun. Check this out from the New York Times:
"The rifle that killed five Wisconsin hunters and wounded three more on Sunday was an SKS 7.62-millimeter semiautomatic assault weapon not normally used in hunting animals.This is bad spin—he's not one of us because he used an evil rifle. The SKS is never going to win any beauty pageants, but it's a fine—and inexpensive—deer rifle. The 7.62 is on par with a .30/30, which has taken more deer-sized game than any other cartridge in American history. Here's what Ruger, which makes the Mini-30 in 7.62, has to say:
"This is not a gun you go deer hunting with," said Lawrence Keane, senior vice president and general counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the gun industry trade association.
The reason the SKS is not used by hunters, Mr. Keane said, is that it is designed for combat soldiers and is therefore underpowered for killing an animal like a deer with a single shot, the goal of good hunters.
"The ethics of hunting are you don't want the animal to suffer needlessly," Mr. Keane said.
Mr. Keane said he suspected that the man accused of the Wisconsin killings was not a trained hunter, since with the SKS he was carrying, he would have had to shoot a deer several times to kill it."
"[the cartridge and rifle] has proven itself as the ideal autoloader for deer-sized game at medium ranges."While I'm not a big fan of the SKS (I'm a pissy gunwriter, and I've found the SKS to have the ergonomics of a mop handle duct-taped to a guitar), it's a standard-issue deer hunting rifle in much of the South--my father has used his SKS deer hunting in Tennessee. It's cheap, accurate at medium distances, reliable as dirt, *not* classified as an "assault weapon" by any standards, has tons of relatively inexpensive ammo available and can be upgraded by any number of aftermarket accessories. Heck, I'd rather have a 7.62 X 39 than, say, a .243 any day of the week.
Murder is murder. The type of gun used doesn't have anything to do with it.