By: Talia Schwartz, Junior
On Tuesday, April 12, 62-year-old Frank R. James opened fire in Brooklyn, NY on a subway, shooting 13 individuals while injuring 10 others. James was arrested 24 hours later after calling a police line and revealing his location in Manhattan. According to investigators, James, wearing a gas mask, threw two smoke cannisters before shooting. The 13 wounded victims were hurt while fleeing the scene; the others were injured due to inhaling the cannister’s smoke, having a panic attack, or tripping in the chaos.
While his motive is currently unknown, authorities have declared that the shooting was planned and James intended to inflict damage upon the subway riders. On the day of the incident, several schools went on lockdown while the subway system shut down for hours. In response to the shooting, police involved in the investigation have decided to greatly increase the police presence stationed in the subway.
James now faces a charge of federal terrorism, with a possible punishment of life in prison if he’s convicted.
This incident in Brooklyn brought up ongoing questions about gun control laws. The 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution gives citizens the right to “keep and bear arms.” However, many people blame shooting incidents such as this on gun control laws that are too relaxed and loose. In this case, James was arrested nine times in New York between 1992 and 1998, in addition to three other arrests in New Jersey. James was never federally charged in these previous arrests (ranging from possession of weapons and charges of sex acts), therefore he could legally purchase a firearm.
This shooting provoked concern about increasing crime in New York’s subway system and gun control regulations that are inflicting damage.