California is facing a wave of gun violence that has left the community in shock and mourning. In the last three days, the state has witnessed three deadly mass shootings, with at least 19 people killed and several others injured. The first shooting took place in Monterey Park, near Los Angeles, where a gunman killed 11 people at a dance studio. The second shooting occurred in Half Moon Bay, near San Francisco, where a 66-year-old man killed seven people, devastating the Asian American community once again. The third shooting took place in Oakland, where one person was killed and seven others were injured.
The motives for these shootings remain a mystery, but both the Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay shootings share ties to the Asian American community, which has been targeted in attacks since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. The suspects in both cases are of Asian descent and older than the average age of mass shooting perpetrators. Furthermore, the US has already suffered 39 mass shootings this month, more than any other start of the year on record.
California Governor Gavin Newsom has expressed his condolences to the victims and their families and called for action to address gun violence in the state. He was at a hospital meeting wounded victims of the Monterey Park shooting when he was “pulled away to be briefed about another shooting – this time in Half Moon Bay,” he said. “Tragedy upon tragedy,” Newsom tweeted.
President Joe Biden also addressed the issue by praying for the victims in Half Moon Bay and again calling on Congress to “act quickly” and ban assault weapons. He said in a statement, “We know the scourge of gun violence across America requires stronger action.”
The Half Moon Bay community, as well as the Monterey Park community, must unite in healing and support each other to address gun violence. San Mateo County Supervisor Ray Mueller spoke about the mental health toll the violence has unleashed in the community and urged people to seek help. He urged people to take advantage of the mental health crisis counseling that is available, especially as the city has been trying to recover from the impact of recent deadly flooding that stretched across large swaths of the state.
The community is in shock and grieving, but they are also demanding action to address the root causes of gun violence. It’s time for the government to listen to the voices of the victims and their families and take meaningful steps to prevent such tragedies from happening again.
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