There was a shooting yesterday morning in the Breinigsville section of Lower Macungie Pennsylvania that the majority of you will not see any news reports about, unless you happen to live around Allentown, PA.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A man opened fire at a convenience store in Pennsylvania early Wednesday, apparently at random, killing a truck driver who was pumping gas and wounding another man before taking his own life, officials said.

The man had first shot at a car on a highway several miles away before heading to the convenience store around 4:45 a.m., according to Lehigh County District Attorney James Martin. The woman in the car told authorities she didn’t realize her car had been hit with a bullet until she stopped at a Wawa store in Upper Macungie Township, outside Allentown. She was uninjured.

The shooter — who had driven to the same store — pulled up next to a Jeep in the parking lot and shot and wounded the driver, Martin said. He then shot and killed the truck driver before fleeing on foot and fatally shooting himself in the parking lot of a day care center about a quarter-mile away, Martin said. The day care was closed at the time.

Yeah, that’s just a brilliant bit of fact finding. I don’t know of many daycare centers that are open at 4:30 in the morning. But here’s where we get into the thick of it…

A coroner identified the shooter as Za Uk Lian, 45, of South Whitehall Township.

And more..

Za Uk Lian had been sick, missing some days of work, and under stress, but there was no warning of the deadly outburst he’s accused of before dawn Wednesday, a longtime friend said.

Law enforcement officers came to the South Whitehall Township home where Lian had lived until about two years ago, and spoke with the homeowner there, Abraham Pa Cawi. Cawi spoke Wednesday afternoon with from his front door.
Lian was single, with no siblings, and his parents back home in Burma where he and Cawi grew up. They’ve known each other more than 20 years and have been in the United States for about seven or eight years, Cawi said.
“It’s really surprised me,” he said of Wednesday’s series of shootings.
The two spoke Tuesday night via Facebook, and Lian brought Cawi money he owed him, saying it had been awhile and was time to repay the debt. Lian had been sick, and Cawi gave him medicine and made him an appointment to get a COVID-19 vaccine shot after Lian’s shift Thursday at the Home Depot Distribution Center in Breinigsville, Upper Macungie Township, a couple of miles from the Wawa.

Cawi tried to help Lian with the language barrier that he faced, and which added to his stress when he had to call out of work at the warehouse due to being ill.

“He was stressed from the job,” said Cawi, who is lay director for Chin Burmese ministries at First Presbyterian Church in Allentown

As the reports suggest, the police have no real idea as to motivation other than he was ill, and he was frustrated at his inability to communicate with his supervisors where he worked.

Now of course, the usual cries for gun control (really, gun confiscation) are warming up. But let’s leave that nonsense aside for just a moment and consider the real factors here.

We don’t really have a good picture of what was going on in the man’s mind and it’s difficult to make a judgment based on what we don’t know.

If we trust the reporting, it is clear that the subject was having difficulty communicating with people around him and therefore was frustrated, angry even. It’s not difficult to imagine that with this difficulty he reached the international “enough” line, and lashed out. After he had done that, apparently his sense of right and wrong took over and remarkably he managed to shoot himself both in the chest and in the head, according to at least one report that I’ve seen.

But what was the cause of that frustration?

There was a time in this country when entrance to it was predicated on being able to read and write and speak the language of the country… that is, English. Since all we have to go on is these reports, it seems logical to question whether or not that requirement would have prevented this situation. If communication was less of an issue, would those two people still be alive today.

And look, before you start warming up, I have very little doubt that there were other factors involved here, that the report is not addressing. Such reports are seldom all- inclusive.

Also, it is very difficult for us to make judgments or even to ask questions based on what we don’t know. All we have is these reports to go on.

I’ve written enough in these spaces, that people who are assimilated into our unique American culture tend to do better in our culture than those who do not.

With that in mind, it seems logical to me to ask if this isn’t one of those cases. Could this situation, and those two deaths been prevented by the elimination of the language barrier, and by means of more effective communication, the cultural barrier with it?

By extension, it seems logical to question whether or not we would be a better and safer society if assimilation was a requirement for living here, and for that matter for citizenship.

The shooter was here in this country for 8 years. Why was communicating in the language of the country such a problem this far down the road intern causing this level of frustration?

Because we didn’t insist on it to begin with.

And now, we will be told incessantly for the next 3 weeks that this was not caused by frustration over is lack of communication skills, and that in turn because of liberal immigration policy. Instead, we will all be witness to frantic emotional appeals to take the guns out of law abiding citizens’ hands.

Never let a good crisis go to waste.