Show of hands. Who has already forgotten about the shooting at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California? Sadly, it’s nothing to be ashamed of if you did because incidents like this are becoming all too common. Sometimes it even feels like these incidents can blur together. Then allow me to act as your memory.
Back in November, 16-year-old Nathaniel Berhow opened fire on the school with a .45 semiautomatic pistol. He killed 15-year-old Gracie Anne Muehlberger and 14-year-old Dominic Blackwell and injured three others. Berhow shot himself in the head and died a day after the shooting.
The gun Berthow used was unregistered and police wondered if the gun was what’s known as a ghost gun. That means that the gun was assembled from various parts that could be purchased from different vendors. Even though the gun is unregistered, it’s legal to assemble guns like this. It’s just one of the many ways that people who aren’t legally allowed to own guns get around background checks and other legal restrictions.
Not too long ago, police announced that the gun was, in fact, a ghost gun. The question now is if Berhow assembled it himself or if Berhow’s late father did. Berhow’s father was said to be a prolific game hunter and quite possibly an abusive alcoholic. He may have also passed his firearm skills on to his son as Berhow was said to have quickly cleared a jam from the gun before resuming shooting. What a legacy to pass on to your son.
I don’t know what’s more disturbing, the fact that an unregistered gun can legally be assembled from parts or the fact that not enough people are troubled that it can be done in the first place.