At last count, 14 people have been killed and 17 people were wounded by two deranged gunmen in San Bernardino, California. The shooting took place Wednesday afternoon at the Inland Regional Center, a complex that houses a conference center and a separate facility where trained staff provide services to people with developmental disabilities. The masked gunmen were reported to have fled the scene, but were later killed during an exchange of gunfire with members of San Bernardino’s finest. Additional details are sketchy at this point and dozens of witnesses are still being interviewed.
The number of mass shootings this year has already exceeded the total number of mass shootings that occurred in 2014. We are also on pace to surpass the 363 mass shootings that occurred in 2013 and ended the lives of too many too soon.
A mass shooting is defined as an incident in which four or more people are wounded or killed by gunfire. If you were paying attention to the headlines from earlier today, you know that one person was killed and three people were also injured by gunfire this morning in a Savannah, Georgia Express Mart parking lot. It marked America’s 354th mass shooting of the year. San Bernardino is number 355.
Who were the victims of today’s shooting sprees? Who were the shooters? Where did they come from? Why did they choose to kill and injure so many people? What kinds of guns were used? Were the guns purchased legally in a department store or were they ordered online? Was the Inland Regional Center a gun-free zone? When’s the next press conference? What does Donald Trump have to say about it? What was Hillary Clinton’s response on Twitter?
Those are the main questions that the members of the national news media are scrambling around and trying to find the answers to. Not me. Frankly, I’m sick of asking those questions and trying to find the answers, because finding them doesn’t seem to make a damn bit of difference. Nothing changes. The only question I find myself asking is if a total of 400 mass shootings in 2015 is outside of the realm of possibilities. Sadly, I don’t think it is. There are still 28 days left on the calendar.
Maybe we’ll see a decline in mass shootings next year, but I sure wouldn’t bet any money on it. It’s hard to be optimistic in times like these, in an age when so many people seemed to be fueled by Hate and Fear.
And so much for all of that. I turned off my television a couple of hours ago, and I don’t see much of a reason to turn it back on. Instead, I think I’ll spend the rest of my night reading a good book while I listen to Johnny Cash sing about the end of the world. Sometimes, I think it can’t come fast enough.