Legally armed and dangerous
Numbers don't lie: 204 mass shootings in 204 days, according to Mass Shooting Tracker, an online, crowdsourced site that charts such data.
That's nearly one mass shooting per day in 2015 in the U.S. So far.
Nine killed and one injured in a Charleston church in June, for example. Or, just last week, two people killed and nine wounded after a gunman opened fire inside a Louisiana movie theater.
Meanwhile, gun-rights advocates continue to push back against efforts to legislate and control access.
And, frankly, maybe such efforts are moot at this point. The Charleston shooter, after all, legally purchased the .45-caliber Glock handgun he used—even though there was a pending drug charge against him.
The system clearly is broken, but how do you fix something when there is a collectively willful refusal to address the impact of our nation's gun culture?
Sacramento is steeped in that culture. Since 2010, Sacramento Sheriff Scott Jones has issued 5,555 concealed-carry weapon permits. That, combined with permits granted by his predecessors, puts Sacramento at 7,000 countywide permits, active or pending. (See SN&R Feature Story, “The New Wild West” on page 14.)
For Jones, arming citizens seems like the logical solution to reductions in the region's law enforcement ranks. In his viewpoint, more guns makes for a safer community.
His philosophy echoes that of many others who think that if a law-abiding citizen was armed in a public place then he or she could prevent a mass shooting. Similarly, Texas governor Rick Perry suggested people be allowed to carry guns into movie theaters for safety and self-protection.
Funny, I don't feel safer.
Again: 204 mass shootings in 204 days. Vigilante policing is not the answer to that disturbing number.