MSNBC.com Graphic Targets Texas Gun Store
"'Guns Galore' sold weapon to Ft. Hood shooter" blares the teaser headline at msnbc.com for Jane C. Timm's 11-paragraph April 3 story, "After shooting, Fort Hood searches for answers."
At time of publication there's no indication that the shooter, Spc. Ivan Lopez, broke any laws in purchasing the gun nor that Guns Galore broke any in selling them to him, and yet the Lean Forward network's website aims to make the store out as a villain. [see screen capture below page break]
To be fair to Timm, nothing in her story casts aspersions on Guns Galore itself, although she did note it was the same store from which Maj. Nidal Hassan, the 2009 Fort Hood shooter, procured the firearm he used in a deadly shooting rampage:
Lopez bought the weapon used in the shooting – a .45 caliber Smith and Wesson pistol – from “Guns Galore,” the same store that sold guns to U.S. Army major and psychiatrist Nidal Malik Hassan, who shot and killed 13 people on Fort Hood in 2009, law enforcement sources told NBC News. The gun was being used illegally under Army rules, according to military officials.
Little is known of Lopez’s life in Kileen, Texas, the town of 134,000 that hosts the Army base. He is reportedly married; his wife has not made a statement yet, but she told NBC News Thursday that she wasn’t feeling well after spending the night talking to police.
The shooter’s sister-in-law, Margarita Class told NBC’s Sandra Lilley that the family was “devastated.” She said her brother had been raised in Guayanilla, Puetro Rico, and had been married with two children to a Puerto Rican woman, before they split.
“My sister-in-law always has been there for us,” she added. “This is such a tragedy for her.”
On Wednesday, President Barack Obama promised “to get to the bottom of exactly what happened,” adding that “we’re heartbroken something like this might have happened again.”
The shooting is the latest in a long string of tragedies that have hit American military posts and the second mass shooting at Fort Hood. In 2009, Hassan shot and killed 13 people and wounded more than 30 others. He was convicted and received a death sentence. Just last year, another lone gunman opened fire at Washington’s Navy Yard, killing 12.