The state with the most strict gun control in the nation, California, is giving Chicago a run for their money. In the past seven days, they have seen three horrific shootings taking 11 lives and injuring 21 as well as a school bombing attempt that was foiled by the groundskeeper.
On Thursday, Nov 14, 2019 a 16 year old boy used a .45 semi-automatic handgun to open fire at his Santa Clarita, CA high school. He murdered two students and wounded three others before taking his own life. The shooter’s father had died in 2016 and had a history of domestic violence in the home prior to his death. It has been reported that at one time law enforcement legally confiscated six firearms from the father based on their ability to track the serial numbers to him through California’s “this-is-not-a-registry” program. It is now being reported that the firearm used in the school shooting was a privately manufactured firearm that did not have a serial number. It is not known where he obtained it.
Another horrific incident took place in San Diego, CA on Saturday, Nov 16, 2019. During this massacre, a father used a handgun to kill his wife, three of their children, and then himself. Another child survived and was last reported to be in critical condition. In this tragic incident, the mother had filed for a restraining order just days before but it is unclear if it was ever served, although a restraining order is nothing more than a piece of paper.
Only one day later in Fresno, CA on Sunday, Nov 17, 2019 a family was gathered in a backyard watching a football game when two unknown suspects entered the yard through the back fence and opened fire in to the group. Four people were killed and six others wounded. It is reported that the family was part of the Hmong community, and possibly the attack was related to a violent Hmong gang. The perpetrators are still at large.
To finish off the violent week, on Wednesday, Nov 20, 2019 a homemade bomb was found and defused at a San Jose, CA high school. A groundskeeper found the device in the bushes right next to the school. The school was placed in lockdown, administrative offices were evacuated, and a bomb squad was called in. After some time the bomb was rendered safe and evacuations of the entire campus began. Bomb dogs were brought in and area was cleared. There are no suspects at this time.
Wow, what a terrible week for a state who continues to add more gun control laws on top of more gun control laws. A state that has had a “Red Flag” law in place since 2014 and just recently passed legislation making that particular law so extreme even the ACLU opposed it. In fact, California just added seven new anti-gun laws to their already extensive roster.
These atrocities are not supposed to happen in California. They have “the laws”, ya know!
As expected, national gun control advocates are already screaming for an assault weapons ban and expanded background checks because of the incidents I listed above. Never mind California requires background checks on everything right down to ammo. And each of these incidents used handguns, not so-called “assault weapons”, well, except for the homemade bomb.
Although honestly, I think this week of violence tells a much more important story, one that gun rights activists such as myself have been trying to help people understand. Until we get to the root of the violence, it will not stop.
And it’s even bigger than that. Lawmakers need to stop grouping together violent crimes under the umbrella of “gun violence” or “mass shootings”. It does a disservice to the victims. It derails meaningful conversation and real solution seeking.
Let’s look at school shootings for example. When will we start asking the hard questions about what is happening in schools that makes these children want to execute their classmates and teachers? Why have suicide rates among children, teens, and young adults skyrocketed? Why are our children choosing death? These are questions those seeking gun control don’t ask. They can’t, because it distracts from their heartless goal of disarming citizens. When I talk with gun grabbers or law makers pushing for more gun control, I often start with the premise that we all agree on the problem, and I mean that. The problem: school shootings are horrific and heartbreaking and we want to see them end. We just disagree on the solutions. The fact that we now have to worry about homemade bombs showing up at schools is a example of why it’s so critical we get to the root cause rather than simply making laws requiring the locking up of guns (which hasn’t stopped school shooters in the past) or making Red Flag laws that clearly have done nothing to prevent tragedy in California.
What about domestic violence? The motives behind domestic violence murder and murder-suicide are extremely different than school shootings, or public mass shootings, or gang or drug related shootings. Once again, grouping them in some ambiguous term called “gun violence” and assuming just another gun control law will help is downright dangerous. Domestic violence is incredibly tricky because the victims are often afraid to leave, and when they do, they are sometimes in extreme danger. This is why many victims have chosen firearm ownership and training when deciding to leave. But it also poses yet another potential dangerous aspect to poorly written Red Flag laws because domestic violence perpetrators can actually use these laws to disarm their victims.
As for gang related shootings, tackling this epidemic is troubling as these people thrive on crime. No law will stop them. And again the solution to gang violence is very different than the solution to school shootings or domestic violence.
So, let’s start talking about solutions. What do you think the solutions are? Leave them in the comments.
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One thought on “California: 21 Shot, 11 Fatally, and 1 School Bomb Attempt During Week of Widespread Violence”
Glad to see you’re talking root cause mitigation! A couple of notes- Gang violence is directly related to systemic poverty and racist housing discrimination going back decades (red lining by the banks were a huge contributor), so economic and educational opportunities make a huge difference here. Additionally, programs like “Ceasefire” and “Cure Violence” have been proven to have a dramatic impact on gang violence.