It’s all too familiar. Flashing red and blue lights, crying survivors, body bags carried out by stone-faced paramedics and coroners. This time, it took place outside a Lunar New Year celebration in the predominantly Asian Los Angeles suburb of Monterey Park, with many innocents killed and wounded at a festivity meant to welcome a new cycle of possibilities, but instead became a tragic endpoint.
Each time this happens in this gun-mad country, the victims, the survivors, the weapons, the shooters and the motivations are different. Yet, as with every such shooting, two things are always true: it was an abomination that cut down the lives of those who wanted just to live in safety, and it was a choice, one we collectively made.
It is a choice to make it catastrophically simple to purchase semiautomatic long guns for personal use. It is a choice to allow civilians to waltz into a gun store and walk out with multiple magazines and hundreds of rounds of ammunition, ready to be fed into a machine whose only purpose is to maim and kill.