Wednesday, December 7, 2011 at 1:08 p.m.
It is said that desperate times call for desperate measures. There is no denying that Rachelle Grimmer felt desperate when she shot her two children and then killed herself inside a Laredo, Texas food stamp office.
Although the 38-year-old mother of two was obviously in dire straits, or at least believed that she was, it is equally apparent there was more involved than a mere rejection of her social services application.
Grimmer had applied for food stamps with the Texas Department of Health and Human Services in July but had been denied because her application was "incomplete," according to Stephanie Goodman, a spokeswoman for the Health and Human Services Commission.
Goodman has been reported by several news sources as stating that even if Grimmer had supplied all the required information, there is no guarantee she qualified for the food stamp program. That statement reeks of CYA -- covering your ass.
Goodman was quoted by the Zanesville Times Recorder as saying the social services office had scheduled a phone interview with Grimmer but "couldn't reach her after repeated attempts."
People who don't have money for food might not have the funds for home telephone service or a mobile phone. And with the state of our economy, the rate of unemployment, and the growing number of people on food stamps, there are many folks who are either homeless, living out of their cars, squatting, or moving from couch to couch.
How is social services supposed to get in touch with them?
Not that such circumstances justify Grimmer going Wild Wild West on civil service employees (whom she threatened and then took a supervisor hostage) and her own children, but seriously, the State of Texas should take at least a little accountability -- not for Grimmer's actions but for the fact that they could have -- should have -- done more to help a family sorely in need.
To walk into a government office brandishing a gun, making wild accusations, and ultimately shooting your two young children and yourself is crazy. Grimmer was not right in the head. But you are telling me that not one of the people she spoke with had any indication she was off her rocker? None could have called protective services?
Forget for a second what she did to the civil servants, but she shot her 10- and 12-year-old children -- apparently with the intent to kill them -- right before she fatally shot herself.
Fortunately, the two children survived even though they are now in "extremely critical condition." Maybe now those kids will get the help they need.
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