Throughout the past few weeks, California has been the backdrop for many shootings, most notably Half Moon Bay and Monterey Park, which occurred two days apart. These deplorable shootings have been steadily increasing throughout the United States. In 2023 alone, there have been nearly 40 shootings in California and across the United States. This piece will discuss all the shootings and possible solutions proposed in what has been a despicable start to 2023.
Still Image of 2023 Mass Shootings in United States
The Half Moon Bay shooting was one of the more recent shootings in Northern California, near San Francisco, in an area known as Half Moon Bay, located in San Mateo. The man with the gun, Chunli Zhao, was a 66-year-old man who admitted to the police that he fired on his coworkers due to long hours and consistent bullying from his peers. He opened fire, killing seven and injuring another. The man told the newscaster that he regretted what he did on that dark day, although that should not exempt him from punishment and ridicule.
Furthermore, Governor Gavin Newsom (D-CA) went to San Mateo to visit the grieving families, comfort the community, and look over the conditions these workers were living in, which Newsom’s spokesperson called “Simply deplorable.” Governor Newsom proclaimed, “These people are living in shipping containers making less than the state minimum wage, which is $15.50” He elaborated and said that “No healthcare, no support, no services, but [they’re] taking care of our health, providing a service to us every day,”
These farm workers throughout California are here to provide for us and endure back-breaking work and grueling conditions for the people of California. Newsom followed up with, “[they’re] working on bringing better working, living, and familial conditions to the farmers and their families, hopefully promoting better work environments and cracking down on poor working and living conditions for the farm workers.”
Further, California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health, as well as the local labor division for San Mateo, have confirmed that they’re investigating the sites where the shooting occurred, as well as their other sites for health and safety violations, according to an article by the Los Angeles Times. As of the writing of this article, Zhao is awaiting trial for his crime in San Mateo.
Living Conditions of some farm workers in Half Moon Bay
Two days before the San Mateo incident was the Monterey Park shooting after a Lunar New Year celebration in Los Angeles, California.
Another man, 77-year-old Huu Can Tran, opened fire in a crowded dance studio, leaving a community in shambles and mourning the loss of 11 community members. The shooter also wounded nine others during his massacre on Lunar New Year. The police found 42 shell casings and a large-capacity magazine in and around the dance studio.
An individual was shot outside the building, which led police to believe the man walked to the studio, shot at the driver, then walked in and opened fire.
Around 20 minutes after the shooting, Tran entered another dance studio and prepared to open fire when suddenly, a group of studio members wrestled the gun away from the 77-year-old, who ran out of the hall. The gun connected the police to Tran, who was using a van to escape.
Once police found and started approaching the van, a gunshot rang out, and with that single shot, the gunman took his own life, taking the coward's way out. With new revelations daily, details for the case are still coming out as the community asks themselves what went wrong.
Moreover, with the two shootings last week, all eyes turn to our nation's capital. So far, President Joe Biden has reintroduced more gun control laws, and many prominent Democrats have joined the call to restrict the sale and purchase of free-flowing firearms sales in the United States.
Unfortunately, Republicans have stayed silent on this issue, which drives a further wedge between the two parties.
The Republican party is proposing new laws to protect the quick and easy sale of firearms, such as a bill introduced to safeguard the sale of guns in red states. These solutions and responses won’t be enough for the many people affected by gun violence in the United States, there are many solutions, but only a few will be enough for the people. Many will say sweeping restrictions across the board for the ban on assault rifles and other weapons of murder.
The last time the bill was passed, the country allowed it to expire, and there was no backlash from the Democrats. The best solution for many is to legislate an assault rifle ban while whipping everyone into shape to continue to stretch out that ban as long as possible. The initial ban worked. Now it’s time for the politicians to listen to the vast majority of the American people and reinstate it.
The shootings that have occurred in California over the past few weeks have been deadly and deplorable with no end in sight. Politicians are working hard to do something, but with the people not seeing enough tangible change, they’re getting restless and starting to demand more from D.C.. Overall, the people need answers and politicians aren’t doing enough for many as evidenced by the many shootings that have occurred in California and around the country.
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