The Latest Shooting
It says something profoundly disturbing about us that the shooting spree in Santa Monica last Friday, leaving 5 people dead, did not become the top news story. Government spying via Verizon and other social media sites remained the headline story. The shooting was mentioned on most sites, although the Drudge Report had nothing on it until days later. President Obama’s motorcade traveled through residential streets in Santa Monica at the same time a 23 year old man — 3 miles away — went on a rampage of violence and terror, ending up at Santa Monica College where a shoot-out with police ended his rampage and his life. A Secret Service agent was dispatched to the scene but determined that the shooting was “a local matter.” Other than re-routing Obama’s departure route, they were satisfied that it had nothing to do with him.
Santa Monica schools were put on lock down. At the local elementary school, parents waited outside for hours to get their children. Meanwhile, inside, the kids weren’t allowed to even go into the bathrooms. They had to pee in buckets filled with cat litter. This has become our children’s new normal. Some schools have “lock down drills.” When I was a kid the only drills we had were fire drills. But that was long before guns were everywhere.
The president has been busy defending the government’s spying efforts, claiming we need to implement this in order to help keep our citizens safe. Yet it’s our citizens who are killing each other. Apparently none of the spying has been able to deter that, or even unearth it before it’s too late. The Santa Monica shooter had 1,300 rounds of ammunition. Neighbors knew he was angry, violent; they knew he had a fascination with guns. They must have talked to others — texted, Facebooked, spoken on the phone. If someone from the government had actually gotten wind of that and prevented yet another shooting, it would add an interesting angle to the controversy over spying. Obviously that didn’t happen.
According to the statement put out by the Secret Service, this is a “local matter.” So much so that President Obama hasn’t even commented on it. It could be argued that foreign terrorists don’t really need to bother with us; we’re doing such a good job of destroying ourselves from within. And it’s become so commonplace now that the President of the United States leaves town in the wake of a massacre and doesn’t say a word about it. It’s not headline news anymore, it’s just another local story. And as long as pretty much anyone can purchase 1,300 rounds of ammunition and an arsenal of weapons, we’ll be left waiting for the next shooting.