Horror in Tehama
Horror came to Northern California on Tuesday morning, as a gunman rampaged through multiple locations, including an elementary school, shooting at random targets and killing at least four people.
Police described a chaotic scene in Rancho Tehama, in rural Tehama County, about 120 miles northwest of Sacramento: at least five crime scenes, after what began as a “domestic violence incident.” In addition to the casualties, at least 10 people were hospitalized, including children. Sheriff ’s deputies fatally shot the gunman. Authorities said he had a record of “prior contacts” with law enforcement.
Rancho Tehama joins a long and grisly list of communities that have been terrorized by similar acts of violence this fall.
Just last Sunday, a gunman attacked a small church outside of San Antonio during services, killing 26 people and injuring 20 more. Last month, a gunman in a high-rise hotel in Las Vegas opened fire on the crowd at a countrymusic festival below. The death toll there was 58. Hundreds more had their lives forever changed through injuries.
Against this constant background of mass shootings and random gun violence, it can be difficult to remain outraged. Yet remaining outraged is crucial, because none of this has to happen.
We could choose, as a nation, to end this horrific cycle.
Gun control has been anathema to Washington politicians for decades. But there are tepid signs that this may be changing.
After the Las Vegas shooting, members of Congress — including Republicans — called for restrictions on “bump stocks,” the device the gunman used to accelerate the gunfire from his semiautomatic weapons. Surprisingly, the National Rifle Association joined the effort.
It was the smallest of steps forward. Banning bump stocks will not stop America’s mass shootings.
But it was a rare acknowledgment that gun control, which is a proven strategy to reduce gun violence around the world, might finally make progress in the U.S.
Parents shouldn’t have to fear for their children’s lives when they drop them off at school. Citizens shouldn’t have to fear for their own lives when they go to church, or the movies, or a concert. Our lives are at stake every single day that Congress does nothing.