Mayhem in Santa Monica

mayhem in santa monica

When is enough enough? How many times must we be shocked by another massacre of innocent people by some angry or deranged individual with a gun before we make some common sense changes.

The deaths of at least five people and injuries to a number of others that concluded on the campus of Santa Monica College in California on June 7 is too similar and too soon after other such tragedies to be an accident. It is a copycat crime that has a strange and ugly appeal to some people.

It reminds me of my days as a newsman in the Philadelphia bureau of United Press International. We’d get an item on the national wire about a flasher running naked in a ballpark in St. Louis and within 24 to 48 hours there would be an item about someone doing the same thing in a ballpark in Chicago. And I can’t remember how many stories there were about someone eating a bar of soap in a supermarket in New York or some other nutty stunt before a copycat did the same thing in Kansas or New Jersey. Copycatting is contagious, it seems, but these days it can be deadly.

There is no easy way to make sure that someone with a gun will not do something crazy with it. And it’s unfair to penalize the millions of other gun owners for the actions of a few. But the statement of the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre that “The only answer to a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun” is absolute nonsense. More guns in the street is certainly not the answer.

Is it because Mr. LaPierre is paid a lot of money to spout that nonsense — or has he just seen too many reruns of “High Noon?”

Beau Weisman, Editor