It’s never a good thing when I wake up to news of a shooting overnight. No one wants to see it. As it is, we’ve seen far too many of them lately, what with Atlanta and Boulder. Even one is too many, and that was two.
Now, there are three.
The latest example comes from southern California.
Four people, including a child, were killed in a shooting at an office building in Southern California on Wednesday, the authorities said, bringing a deadly close to a month consumed by a series of high-profile cases of gun violence.
The gunfire occurred around 5:30 p.m. in Orange, Calif., about 30 miles southeast of Los Angeles, according to the police there, who said a fifth victim, a woman, was hospitalized in critical condition with a gunshot wound.
A suspect was also hospitalized in critical condition with a gunshot wound, the authorities said. They added that it was not yet known if the wound was self-inflicted.
It was not immediately clear what led to the shooting, and additional details about the victims and the suspect were not available from the authorities. They said a firearm had been recovered at the scene, which covered two floors and a courtyard area of the building.
When officers arrived, the shots were still being fired and the police found several victims, said the police.
Emma Soto, 26, who lives in an apartment near the building, was doing laundry when she said she heard seven to 10 gunshots.
“It just sounded like a popping sound,” she said. “It didn’t really sound like how you would imagine it, like in the movies. We’re hearing of all these shootings going on, so I just thought, ‘Another shooting.’ But we never imagined it would be that close to us.”
Almost immediately after hearing the gunfire, Ms. Soto said, several police vehicles pulled up. She watched as officers emerged from the vehicles with their weapons drawn. The officers ran toward the building, she said.
The neighborhood is typically quiet and peaceful, and it is largely Hispanic, said Ms. Soto, a manager at a nearby big-box store. “It’s scary,” she said of the shooting.
It appears that the shooter was moving throughout the area.
Regardless, this meets most definitions of a mass shooting, and as per usual, we don’t know all that much. That will undoubtedly resolve itself over time, but that means we have little to do but speculate in the meantime.
That’s not really good.
Among the things we don’t know; anything about the shooter or their weapon used. We don’t know how they got it, or anything else.
One thing we do know, though, is that California is the most gun-controlled state in the nation. They have everything being talked about at the federal level and a whole lot of stuff that would never fly anywhere else. They make states like Massachusetts and Illinois look downright free.
And yet, something like this still happened.
Maybe it’s time to start recognizing that mass shootings are a complex problem and simplistic solutions like gun control don’t really have the impact on preventing mass shootings like some people prefer to argue. Not to sound all cliche here, but if it can happen in California, it can happen anywhere in the nation.
Of course, that’s not likely to be what we hear. Instead, I expect we’ll hear an awful lot about how more gun control is needed, how we simply have to “do something,” and so on. Meanwhile, the next attack is likely being planned and there’s not a damn thing any of these folks are suggesting that will stop it.
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