Wade Michael Page, the man responsible for the Sikh temple shooting in Wisconsin had been demoted and eventually excused from the Army.
Page was demoted and then discharged in 1998 for reasons yet to be disclosed. Instead of being dishonorably discharged the white supremacist received a general discharge.
According to JSOnline:
“He served approximately from 1992 to 1998, and was assigned to psychological operations – the specialists who analyze, develop and distribute intelligence used for information and psychological effect.”
Had the dishonorable title been given he would not have been allowed to purchase the 9mm handgun he bought on July 28, received on July 30 and ultimately used to kill seven people.
Army officials have not yet commented on why Page was excused without the dishonorable discharge title.
Speaking to his neighbor the Los Angeles Times learned that Page was “not a friendly guy” and “You’d have more fun with a camel. He was very quiet. You’d say hi and he’d kind of ‘uh.’ It was like he didn’t care if you were talking or not.”
On the other hand Page’s own grandmother said he gave her a dozen roses last month “just to tell me he loved me.”
What we do know is that Page was a deeply disturbed man who shot police officer Brian Murphy eight to nine times before being gunned down himself by a patrol officers shotgun. Lt. Murphy is listed in critical condition.
If Wade Michael Page was discharged from the military over mental problems this shooting will once again highlight the difficulties the military has experienced when trying to balance the mental stability of its troops.
In the meantime the Aurora, Colorado shooting and the Sikh temple shooting continue to push gun control issues to the forefront of political rhetoric.