After a week of mass shootings, one after the other after the other, California is battered.
First, there was the execution of six family members in the Central Valley community of Goshan. The victims, who were shot in the head, included a 16-year-old and her infant child. Then, a gunman murdered 11 people and injured nine others who were celebrating the Chinese New Year at a dance studio in Monterey Park. A day after that, a disgruntled employee shot up two mushroom farms in Half Moon Bay. Later that night, another gunman killed one person and injured seven more in Oakland.
Four mass shootings in a row, and this in a state with some of the toughest gun laws in the country. California has universal background checks, laws intended to get guns out of the hands of those convicted of domestic violence, red-flag laws allowing the police to confiscate weapons from those deemed to be an extreme danger to themselves or others, waiting periods for the purchase of weapons, and an array of other measures.
Last year, SB 1327 was signed into law. It is modeled on the Texas law that allowed private citizens to sue anyone who helped a woman secure an abortion. California’s version allows for private citizens to sue people involved in the manufacture and distribution of automatic weapons and ghost guns, both of which are banned. This year, lawmakers are pushing measures intended to make it easier to remove guns from those who pose a public risk, and to raise taxes on gun manufacturers.
In the aftermath of the shootings, Gov. Gavin Newsom said that the fetishization of the Second Amendment was becoming a “suicide pact.” He’s right. So, too, was Vice President Kamala Harris, when she journeyed to Monterey Park and called on Congress to enact an assault weapons ban.
But the current Supreme Court and House of Representatives are unlikely to tolerate even the most minimal of gun control laws. Pro-gun extremists wasted no time in exploiting the latest wave of killings. Many immediately took to the airwaves to mock California and gun control advocates for daring to think that limiting certain kinds of gun ownership might actually save lives.
But in fact, despite the recent wave of mass shootings, according to the CDC, California has the seventh-lowest gun death rate in the country, with 8.5 deaths per 100,000 residents. Compare with Texas, which has 14.2 gun deaths per 100,000, or Mississippi, which has an extraordinary 28.6 gun deaths per 100,000.
The word “hypocrisy” seems inadequate to describe the gun-toting, gun-worshiping politicians and judges whose inaction on gun control measures is responsible for so much carnage. These shootings, so ghastly yet so commonplace, are America’s mark of shame. We say we are exceptional. How entirely right we are, at least when it comes to mass shootings.
Welcome to the discussion.
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.