Mass Shooting in Lewiston, Maine

“The victims of this tragedy are our family, friends, colleagues, and neighbors”

The 18 victims of the mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine. Photo Credit: NPR

At around 7 p.m. on Wednesday, October 25, a gunman opened fire at two different locations in the town of Lewiston, Maine. Seven people were killed at Just-In-Time Recreation, a bowling alley in Lewiston, and an additional nine people lost their lives at Schemengees Bar & Grill, a restaurant 12 minutes away from the bowling alley. 13 more people sustained injuries at both locations. The suspect, Robert R. Card Jr., was found dead on Friday, October 27, near a recycling center after a state-wide manhunt that lasted two days. He died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. When authorities still believed Card to be at large, authorities ordered tens of thousands of residents of Lewiston and surrounding towns to stay home and shelter in place. According to the U.S. Army’s public affairs office, Card was a sergeant first class in the Army reserve and assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 304th Infantry Regiment in Saco, Maine. Card was never deployed on any combat deployments but was considered armed and dangerous at the time of the search.

With over 582 mass shootings occurring in the United States this year, the shooting in Lewiston marks the deadliest, with 18 people killed and 13 people injured. Mass shootings have become an unfortunate reality in the United States, and each event reignites the debate over gun control and the need for stricter gun control laws. Below are some of the essential gun safety measures that Maine does not have in place:

  • No concealed carry permit is required
  • No assault weapons ban
  • No ghost gun regulation (gun parts without serial numbers)
  • No high-capacity magazine ban
  • No crime gun tracing
  • No ban on carrying after a violent offense
  • No ban on concealed carry of guns in bars
  • No open carry regulations
  • No firearms registration required
  • No background check is required, and there is no waiting period
  • Not required to keep records of sales of gun purchases
  • No training is required to purchase guns

The day after the shooting, Representative Jared Golden of Maine, who is a centrist Democrat, called for a ban on assault weapons. This reversed his long-held stance on gun control. Golden has repeatedly disagreed with his party in the past, opposing legislation that would ban assault weapons. Last July, he was one of only five Democrats in the House to oppose passing a ban on assault weapons, a measure that later failed to secure enough Republican votes in the Senate. In a press conference, Golden stated, “The time has now come for me to take responsibility for this failure, which is why I now call on the United States Congress to ban assault rifles like the one used by the sick perpetrator of this mass killing in my hometown of Lewiston, Maine.” He continued, “For the good of my community, I will work with any colleague to get this done in the time that I have left in Congress.” Joe Biden and Janet Mills (who is the governor of Maine) have also released statements in wake of the mass shooting, calling for more gun control and a ban on assault weapons.

The mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine, is a devastating tragedy in the city’s and state’s history. It has left the Lewiston community and wider Maine community grieving and in shock. We must remember the lives lost, the families that have been affected, and the Lewiston community that has been forever changed. We must come together to create policies, measures, and laws that prevent heart-wrenching events like the one that unfolded in Lewiston from happening again.

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