I was going to write about something else till local events overrode that plan.
Once again the country faces yet again another (I can’t use enough synonyms for often) mass shooting. This one was a little closer to home which makes it no less sorrowful but much more impactful on those of us in NorCal.
This was the largest mass shooting in NorCal history, eclipsing the 101 California Massacre in 1993. I hate that we have names for these unimaginable events. I’m sick at heart for the families who lost a husband, son, brother, best friend in an act that was as horrible was it was preventable.
They were just heading into or finishing work, another day moving the citizens of San Jose around from place to place. The shooting was timed to catch the most people being there, shift change. Half of them not quite awake at 6AM, half of them dog tired at 6AM. Just working folk who never did harm to anyone, the kind of people politicians always say they are for. I’ll add in that the names of the men who didn’t get home yesterday are a perfect cross section of the cultural melting pot that San Jose is: White, Hispanic, Sikh, Arab.
It was an equal opportunity shooting.
Read anything you want about the shooter (and I will not name him, his name should be lost to the eddies of history) and you will not find a single person saying “Oh, he was such a quiet man” or “he was a nice guy”. Again and again he’s described in anti-social terms, from his ex-wife to his ex-girlfriend (who had a restraining order on him) to his neighbors. I half expected to hear someone saying “yeah, I pretty much expected something like this from him”.
An angry white male loner incapable of a sustained romantic relationship who views his co-workers as having somehow swindled him out of better jobs and who owned not one but two semi-automatic hand guns. Copy that description and hold on to it because it fits all 15 of the shooters behind this year’s mass shootings. And it will fit the next 15, and the 15 after that.
Don’t even give me your “thoughts and prayers” Repugnicants. Don’t give me your piety about the 2nd Amendment which once again I will take the opportunity to point out that unlike the 1st Amendment does NOT include the phrase “Congress shall make no law”. This is exactly the time to enact tough restrictions on gun possession, purchase, and registration. You want to own a gun? Then you have to be willing to accept the following:
- A limit to the number of guns you can own
- Full background checks at the time of purchase (including mental health)
- A national database of gun ownership, location, and transfer
- No gun show sales, purchase only through authorized sellers
- An absolute ban on military style assault weapons
- Limitations on the amount and specifications of bullets
- Mandatory gun safety and training classes
- Bans on modifications to most weapons (can’t turn a semi into full automatic)
- All weapons to be confiscated upon the granting of restraining orders
I absolutely can not see how any of these interfere with any law abiding person’s 2nd Amendment rights. They aren’t perfect but they at least make it so that if you own a gun you are less likely to use it to randomly kill innocent people. Were they in place on Wednesday nine human beings would be at home with their families today instead of just being names on a list.
- Paul Delacruz Megia, age 42
- Taptejdeep Singh, age 36
- Adrian Balleza, age 29
- Jose Dejesus Hernandez III, age 35
- Timothy Michael Romo, age 49
- Michael Joseph Rudometkin, age 40
- Abdolvahab Alaghmandan, age 63
- Lars Kepler Lane, age 63
- Alex Ward Fritch, age 49
We’ll end with a local band as would seem appropriate. This song is about how the most patriotic thing you can do is to lay down your arms.