My Reflections on the Omaha Mall Shooting and the Shooter (Robert Hawkins)

OK, so on Wednesday, Robert A. Hawkins, 19, took an SKS semi-automatic rifle that he stole from his step-father (I have also heard “AK-47-style rifle” and “AK-47″) into an Omaha, Nebraska shopping mall and murdered 8 people, injuring several more, and eventually killing himself.

Robert was a high school dropout from Papillion-La Vista High School who had had run ins with the law for drug and disorderly conduct charges.  He suffered from depression, but was not on any medication.  He had just lost his job at McDonald’s and his girlfriend.

Hawkins had been staying with Debora Maruca-Kovac, her husband and their 2 boys, whom he had befriended, after he was kicked out of his house.  Maruca-Kovac had said that when he showed her the rifle the night before, she did not think that anything was wrong (um, a depressed kid has a gun – there’s something wrong with that).  She said that he had a drinking and marijuana problem (but again, a gun didn’t arouse suspicion?).  (And a side note - I am NOT blaming this on her – I just think that there were many signs here and that there were many opportunities where this could’ve been stopped, but the blame rests solely on Hawkins).

At about 1:00 P.M., Hawkins called Maruca-Kovac and he told her that he had left a note.  When she questioned him, he said “It’s too late,” and hung up.  Maruca-Kovac then called Hawkins mother.

“I’m a piece of sh*t,” said the note that he left.  He also said that he was “sorry for everything” and didn’t want to be a burden anymore (mainly directed to his family).  Well, you murdered 8 people – now you’re a bigger burden than you ever could’ve been before.  You’re “sorry for everything” – apologies are only sincere if you actively try not to do whatever you did again – and when you apologize before and then go kill people, I doubt that you’re sorry at all.  And here’s what really made me angry: “Now I’ll be famous.”  That’s right – forever you’ll be remembered as the kid who murdered 8 people and then did the ultimate chickening out and killed yourself – you could’ve at least faced the punishment for what you did.

While he was in the care of the state, he cost Nebraska $265,000.  Todd Landry, Health and Human Services director of the division of children and family services, said “This tragedy was not a failure of the system to provide appropriate, quality services for a youth who needed them.  I believe all appropriate services were provided as long as they were needed.”  I agree – we spent nearly a quarter of a million dollars on the kid, yet he began to drink and do drugs – obviously, he didn’t have the will to get better.

The fact that I find different sources saying that the gun was different, I’m going to have a hard time talking about it.  IF it was an AK-47, I don’t think his step-father should’ve owned it (at least not a functioning one) – as I’ve said numerous times, no civilian needs an automatic weapon (read here for further comments on guns https://inkslwc.wordpress.com/2007/11/26/supreme-court-to-hear-second-amendment-case/ or https://inkslwc.wordpress.com/2007/12/01/proof-that-gun-regulations-must-be-tighter-david-brockdorff-and-gail-pumphrey/).  If it was an SKS semi-automatic, I think the father had a legitimate right to own the gun.  Now – the fact that his step-son was able to steal it says that apparently he wasn’t keeping it protected enough.  This kid never should have had access to a gun and his step-father should’ve known this.  It should have been safely and securely locked away in a manner that kept Robert from accessing it.

But the majority of the blame lies with Robert Hawkins himself – even if you are depressed and suicidal – and “sorry” for what you were about to do – you didn’t have to kill anybody.  He obviously knew it was wrong, so I’m not going to say that he’s off the hook due to depression.  He knew it was wrong, and couldn’t handle the consequences of what he’d done, so he took the cheap and easy way out, leaving his friends and family with the sad reality that the last thing he did was murder 8 people.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican

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12 Responses to “My Reflections on the Omaha Mall Shooting and the Shooter (Robert Hawkins)”

  1. Diana McManus Says:

    I think that partial blame goes to the step-father for letting Robert Hawkins have access to the gun. The step-father should be INCRIMINATED for letting him have that access and that makes him LIABLE to be sued by the families of the victims. If people want to own a gun, they need to carry LIABILITY INSURANCE for this reason. I don’t own a gun and hate guns. I would be glad if everyone on this planet got rid of their guns.

  2. inkslwc Says:

    Guns are a good thing, when properly used and stored. Naturally, if your step-son is a nutjob and you don’t lock up your gun, yes you are partially to blame.

  3. Kris Says:

    The AK47 used in this crime was not fully automatic. It shoots the same as a SKS. The father had a gun in his home. The Nutty kid did not live there. He went there with his mother (She does not live there either.) He stole the gun from there without his Mother’s knowledge. The Father was out of the country. The mother should be held liable instead of the father. He LEGALLY owned the gun. The Mother should have known better of taking the kid to the Fathers house if he had guns there. This kid could have walked into any local gun store and purchased any rifle that would have been just as effective as the one he took.

  4. inkslwc Says:

    OK about the gun (I heard so many reports on what the gun was, and no police reports have been released).

    But the father did NOT have it safely locked.

    How do you sneek a rifle out of a house!

    And if the kid was kicked out, what’s his mother doing taking him back? Instead of having him live somewhere else, if you’re taking him to the house, then just let him live there.

  5. Kris Says:

    I live in Omaha, they said it was an AK47. SKS or AK, it is almot the same gun. It shoots the same shells, and can accept the same magazine with some modifications.

    What is safely locked? Many different definitions here.

    How did he sneak it out? Probably the same way he snuck it into the Westroads mall.

  6. inkslwc Says:

    Safely locked is locked so that only the father or somebody the father trusted (maybe his wife, but not the psycho step-son) could get to.

    What I want to know is why the lady he was living with didn’t see a problem with a drug and alcohol addicted depressed kid with a gun.

  7. Kris Says:

    That lady allegedly smoked marijuana with them. She was probably half baked herself.

  8. inkslwc Says:

    Not that I’m doubting you, but do you have a source for that? I hadn’t heard that until you made that comment.

  9. gm Says:

    I agree with inkslwc’s posts.

    Guns and firearms must be stored away securely especially from children and people who have depression and other issues. Guns aren’t the problem but people who aren’t storing them properly need to be more careful in the now and in the future.

    Did the parents of the Columbine High School shooters ever apologize or come forward??? I realize it is off topic but just curious.

  10. inkslwc Says:

    From this article (http://suicideandmentalhealthassociationinternational.org/coldylan.html) it appears that Dylan Klebold’s parents never did.

    But it was not just the parents there who are to blame. The Sheriff’s Department mismanaged so many warning signs in that case.

    The guns sold to them were from complete morons who didn’t think that selling guns to minors with drug and alcohol problems was a bad idea. But how did the parents NOT notice the fact that their kdis had firearms and had made 99 IEDs?!

  11. dennis1313 Says:

    how do you sneak an sks rifle out of the house with your mother right there!!!

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