Americans Shaken by Wave of Mass Murders

Eleven people killed while celebrating Lunar New Year in a dance hall popular with older Asian-Americans. Seven Chinese and Hispanic farmers killed amid the serene beauty of Half Moon Bay in California. A 17-year-old mother and her baby shot dead in an attack that killed six people.

Although all three events occurred in recent days in California, people across the United States are shocked by the series of killings in the first weeks of 2023.

“At the end of the day, there are too many guns in this country, and there has to be a change. This is not an acceptable way for a modern society to live and run its business,” San Mateo County Board of Supervisors Chairman Dave Pine said Monday shortly after the killing at a mushroom farm 30 miles away. (30 miles) south of San Francisco. «We are heartbroken.»

The sad news from Half Moon Bay came as Californians were just processing the carnage over the weekend at the dance club in Monterey Park, an Asian-American community on the eastern edge of Los Angeles.

In recent years, Americans have learned to deal with mass shootings at churches, supermarkets, concerts, offices, and even inside the homes of their friends or neighbors. Violence can be caused by hatred towards other communities, grudges within a community, secrets between families or friction between co-workers.

A database compiled by The Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University shows that 2023 is off to a particularly bloody start with 39 people killed in six incidents since Jan. 4, when a Utah man investigated but never charged following a child abuse complaint in 2020, he shot and killed his wife, her mother, and their five children before committing suicide.

A total of 2,793 people, according to the database, have lost their lives in massacres — where four or more people are killed, not including the killer — since 2006.

In the incident Saturday night in Monterey Park, 11 people were killed and nine others injured when a 72-year-old man opened fire at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio, just hours after tens of thousands of celebrants filled the nearby streets. to welcome the Lunar New Year. The assailant committed suicide when the policemen approached his truck the next day.

The Half Moon Bay crime suspect, 67, was arrested in the parking lot of a police station. In both cases, detectives have not found the motive for the killing.

“We haven’t even had time to mourn those we lost in the terrible massacre in Monterey Park. Gun violence must stop,” Pine said. «We cannot continue to tolerate this status quo.»

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Maryclaire Dale is on Twitter as @Maryclairedale