The deaths of two bank employees in St. Joseph earlier this month at the hands of a deranged gunman raise a number of questions that deserve to be aired publicly.
How and when did the man obtain a semiautomatic handgun and an assault rifle? Did he pass a background check? Did he obtain them before he started exhibiting paranoid tendencies? Should he have had the right to possess those weapons once he began to show signs of derangement? Could they have been confiscated under current law?
Such questions demand answers if the rights of gun owners, now so thoroughly protected under Louisiana law, are to be balanced against the most basic demands of public safety.