On Sunday, a man walked into a dance studio in Monterey Park, just east of Los Angeles, and shot 20 people, killing 10 of them. He later entered a nearby ballroom, but his gun was wrestled from him, and he fled. He later was killed by police.
The Monterey Park area is a largely-Chinese community, which was celebrating Lunar New Year. I haven’t been there often, but when I’ve gone it’s generally been to eat at one of the massive number of Chinese restaurants that fill the streets. I once did an experiment to not have a destination in mind where to eat, and just basically picked a place at random. After all, if you not only have that much competition (and it really seemed like a couple of Chinese restaurants on every block) but also to diners with a discriminating plate, I figured you’d better be really good, or you’d be out of business quickly. The gambit paid off, the meal was wonderful.
I was going to say that I assume we’ll see a lot of “Thoughts and prayers” tweets, but then I realized that since this was an Asian community, today’s extreme-right might not be as comforting as they would be otherwise.
But then, it doesn’t matter much, since “Thoughts and prayers” have long-since lost their meaning. If “Thoughts and prayers” had an impact, we would have stopped seeing gun massacres long, long ago.
And all those on the far-right trying to make a point that, even with strict gun laws in California, there was still this massacre -- it must be noted that one of the guns used is banned in the state, likely brought in from elsewhere. (I've also never understood the strange argument that because a state or city has tough gun laws and a mass shooting occurs there, this means gun laws don't work, so we should get rid of them -- or some such empty point. After all, that's like saying even though we have laws against bank robberies, and they still happen, it means laws against bank robberies don't work, so we should get rid of them.)
The only good thing in the news story is that we didn’t have to read Ted Cruz saying anything about how if only there were fewer doors, the gunman couldn’t have gotten in, and all would have been okay.
Also, there was another incident in the community the same night that police believe might possibly be related. In that instance, which took place at a nearby ballroom, it was unarmed people who got the gun away from the man, which undermines the whole “Good man with a gun” gibberish. Yes, there were 20 people shot, and 10 killed at the dance studio, but then people dancing don’t tend to do so wearing gun holsters. And are easy targets for someone with a semi-automatic weapon.
But speaking of other incidents the same night --
This wasn't even the only mass shooting the same night. There was another mass shooting on Sunday in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where 12 people were shot.
And speaking of other mass shootings --
We're only 23 days into the new year, but already there have been 36 mass shooting this year alone. Yes, that's not only more than one mass shooting every single day, but it's over 1-1/2 mass shooting. Every. Single. Day.
Saying that you are outraged by this all and sickened by it is almost beginning to have little effect, as well. After all, even though this was 20 people shot and 10 killed, if you can’t get most of the country rising up in fury when schoolchildren are continually massacred, what chance to you have with a dance studio.
“Almost beginning,” thankfully, since at least a gun safety bill did pass Congress last year. It was pretty weak for what was needed – most notably to get rid of assault weapons off the street – but what issues did get passed were beneficial and hopefully will save lives.
As always, whooping cries from the corporate-owned, gun manufacturer-run NRA terrorist organization will come that “This is not the time to talk about gun safety laws” (tm) – and as always, the proper response is that that’s correct: the time to talk about this was before the massacre.
Guns don’t kill people. People with guns kill people.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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