Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.
My heart breaks every time I see a photo of the sweet, smiling face of 6-year-old Stephen Romero. He was one of three people murdered by a shooter at the Gilroy Garlic Festival last weekend in Northern California.
I’m so tired of gun violence. Especially gun violence perpetrated against children. All the guns in the world aren’t worth that kid’s smile, which his parents, his family, his community—no one will ever get to see again.
Listen, I’ve shot guns. It can be a fun and cathartic experience. (Although not as fun or cathartic as, say, banging on an electric guitar or swishing a three-pointer.) But it’s just not worth it.
I’m not calling for an all-out repeal of the Second Amendment, just more sensible gun control, like Senate Bill 143, which passed in Nevada this year, a bill that closed the so-called gun show loophole, which allowed buyers to purchase guns without a background check in certain contexts.
Still, it was disheartening to learn that the semi-automatic rifle used in the Gilroy attack had been purchased at a gun store in Fallon. The owner of the store condemned the attack on social media.
But it’s frustrating to have our region associated in any way with such a heinous crime. I don’t want any part of Nevada to ever become one of those places, like Columbine, Colorado, or Newtown, Connecticut, to become synonymous with these terrible crimes. Las Vegas suffered a horrible incident in 2017. Never again.
We can’t let these shooters dictate how we see those places. I don’t want them to own the names of those places, just like I don’t want terrorists to own any dates in early autumn. September 11, 2001, is somebody’s birthday. It’s the day Jay-Z’s The Blueprint dropped.
Let’s not give these killers the cheap immortality of getting their name in print. They have no power.