In less than 48 hours, back-to-back shootings in Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay have left the state of California reeling from one of its bloodiest waves of gun violence in decades.
The latest spasm of a bloody massacre left seven people dead and one gravely injured. The accused gunman opened fire on groups of farm workers using a semi-automatic handgun later found in his car. Authorities arrested the perpetrator not long after the event.
In another deadly rampage on Saturday, 11 people were shot to death at a Los Angeles-area dance hall. Furthermore, the suspect targeted mainly older patrons of Asian descent celebrating the Lunar New Year in Monterey Park near LA. He attempted a failed second attack on a dance studio before shooting himself to death in his getaway vehicle before police closed in.
California Governor Gavin Newsom refers to it as a “tragedy upon tragedy.”
Video of the arrest shows officers approaching a parked car, weapons drawn. Video by ABC7
According to authorities, an actual motive for either of the rampages has yet to be identified. What’s more baffling is that both suspects are men of retirement age. That is much older than is typical for perpetrators of deadly mass shootings.
The circumstances surrounding the massacre at northern California mushroom farms in Half Moon Bay near San Francisco likely stemmed from a workplace grievance.
“ This is a very sad start to a new year as we will likely see even more active shooter events this year than last year, just as we did from 2020 to 2021. And now that the economy is starting to take a downturn, it will likely fuel this situation even more. And unfortunately, as we have seen many times in the past, these terrible events come in threes so I won’t be surprised to see another one in the next few days. The reason there hasn’t been any children killed by fires at schools in the past 70 years is because they are constantly learning and practicing survival methods in the case of a fire. We have got to do the same thing with active shooter survival training if we’re going to start decreasing the number of events and overall body count in these terrible situations. ”
— Michael Julian, Active Shooter Survival Instructor
A Drumbeat of Mass Shootings
The back-to-back shootings appear to have little in common; other than being yet another deadly massacre that has become numbingly routine in the United States. For many in America, it feels like a never-ending drum of shootings.
From the start of 2023, there has been a total of 39 mass shootings nationwide. Only last week, two gunmen killed six people in a gang-related shooting in Tulare County.
As reported by Gun Violence Archive, California does have a lower firearm mortality rate than most other states in the nation. That means that people who live here are about 25 percent less likely to die in mass shootings.
Right now, that is a poor consolation for the victims of the horrific incidents and those left behind who struggle.
On Tuesday, U.S. President Biden renewed his call for Congress to pass a national ban on assault weapons. Whether or not this will have any effect on the scourge of gun violence across America is questionable. Regardless, the country needs firmer action.