Opinion: This is why we need gun control

The violence at Isla Vista at the start of the holiday weekend grabbed the nation’s attention. But so, too, did the shootings at the Washington Navy Yard last year. And in Santa Monica. And at Newtown, Conn., before that.

And on and on.

More than 11,000 people die of gunshots in the United States each year. Thousands more are wounded, and maimed. We tend to ignore the single deaths; the mass shootings are harder to overlook. Yet we still manage to forget them.

So here’s a reminder of the cost of our abject inability to confront our cultural embrace of violence, and to move beyond the romanticized notion that an armed nation is a safe nation. And no, the answer, as the National Rifle Assn. likes to tell us, is not more guns.

These are incidents in which at least three or more people -- including, in some cases, the gunman -- were killed by gunfire so far this year (gleaned from the Guns Are Cool page at Reddit):

Jan. 16, five dead in Spanish Fork, Utah; Jan. 28, three dead in Baltimore; Feb. 2, three dead in Franklin, Ill.; Feb. 3, four dead in Cypress, Texas; Feb. 6, four dead in Defiance, Ohio; Feb. 20, four dead in Alturas, Calif.; Feb. 20, four dead in Indianapolis; Feb. 24, four dead in Glade Spring, Va.; Feb. 26, four dead in Oak Lawn, Ill.; March 5, three dead in Pelzer, N.C.; March 9, three dead in Fremont, Ohio; March 16, three dead in Beaumont, Texas; April 3, four dead in Killeen, Tex.; April 13, three dead in Lookout Valley, Tenn.; May 3, four dead in Jonesboro, Ark.; May 9, four dead in Tampa, Fla.; May 9, four dead in Pomona; May 24, seven dead in Santa Barbara; May 25, three dead in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

And in case you missed the 2013 mass shootings in which at least three people were killed:


Jan. 1, four dead in Sacramento; Jan. 5, four dead in Aurora, Colo.; Jan. 7, five dead in Tulsa, Okla.; Jan. 7, three dead in Dinwiddie, Va.; Jan. 10, three dead in New Orleans; Jan. 19, five dead in Albuquerque; Jan. 30, three dead in Phoenix; Feb. 3, five dead in Riverside; Feb. 6, three dead in Denver; Feb. 11, three dead in Wilmington, Del.; Feb. 12, three dead in Midvale, Utah; Feb. 19, four dead in Tustin; March 13, five dead in Herkimer, N.Y.; March 14, four dead, Mesquite, Texas, March 20, three dead in Jefferson County, Ala.; March 31, three dead in Auburn, Wash.; March 31, three dead in Atwater, Calif.; April 2, four dead in San Juan, Puerto Rico; April 18, four dead in Akron, Ohio; April 22, five dead in Federal Way, Wash.; April 24, six dead in Manchester, Ill.; April 28, four dead in Ottawa, Kan.; May 4, four dead in Aguas Buenas, Puerto Rico; May 8, four dead in Hendersonville, N.C.; May 10, three dead in Harbor Gateway; May 11, four dead in Waynesville, Ind.; May 15, five dead in Fernley, Nev.; May 18, three dead in Las Piedras, Puerto Rico; May 21, four dead in Herndon, Va.; May 28, five dead in Sells, Ariz.; May 29, three dead in Chicago; June 7, five dead in Santa Monica; June 11, four dead in Darien, Ill.; June 12, four dead in St. Louis; June 19, three dead in Louisville; June 29, three dead in North Charleston, S.C.; July 1, four dead, Fort Worth; July 17, three dead in Oakland; July 26, four dead in Clarksburg, W. Va.; July 26, seven dead in Hialeah, Fla.; Aug. 2, four dead in Whitesburg, Ky.; Aug. 4, three dead in Salinas; Aug. 5, three dead in Ross Township, Pa.; Aug. 7, four dead in Dallas; Aug. 11, four dead in Omaha; Aug. 20, four dead in Oklahoma City; Aug. 25, three dead in Lake Butler, Fla.; Aug. 28, three dead in Columbus; Sept. 11, four dead in Renegade Mountain, Tenn.; Sept. 15, three dead in Snellville, Ga.; Sept. 16, 13 dead in Washington, D.C.; Sept. 17, four dead in West Broward, Fla.; Sept. 20, five dead in Rice, Texas; Sept. 22, three dead in Muskegon, Mich.; Sept. 27, four dead in Ashville, Pa.; Oct. 2, four dead in Double Springs, Ala.; Oct. 8, four dead in Paris, Texas; Oct. 26, five dead in Phoenix; Oct. 28, five dead in Terrell, Texas; Oct. 29, six dead in Callison, S.C.; Nov. 5, three dead in Detroit; Nov. 7, four dead in Jacksonville; Nov. 10, four dead in Brooklyn; Nov. 12, four dead in Phoenix; Nov. 20, three dead in Houston; Nov. 20, three dead in North Miami-Dade, Fla.; Nov. 23, four dead in Tulsa; Nov. 23, four dead in Parsons, Kan.; Dec. 1, four dead in Topeka; Dec. 3, four dead in Alma, Ala.; Dec. 3, four dead in Erwin, Tenn.; Dec. 8, four dead in Manchester, Conn.; Dec. 25, three dead in Irvington, N.J.; Dec. 26, four dead in Raceland, La.; Dec. 30, four dead in Pleasant Valley, N.Y.; Dec. 31, four dead in Fontana.

Note that these are just mass shootings in which at least three people died. There were scores of incidents in which multiple people were gunshot victims, but survived. And mass shootings in which one or two died and several more were wounded.

It is an epidemic that we are politically powerless to stop, because too many have bought into a near-religious embrace of gun ownership. This carnage on the streets of America is not what the crafters of the Second Amendment envisioned.