Newsletter: The madness of mass shootings

A family places flowers at a memorial outside the Cielo Vista Mall Walmart in El Paso, where 20 people were shot and killed by a gunman on Saturday. The El Paso massacre was followed on Sunday morning by a gunman’s killing of nine people in Dayton, Ohio.
A family places flowers at a memorial outside the Cielo Vista Mall Walmart in El Paso, where 20 people were shot and killed by a gunman on Saturday. The El Paso massacre was followed on Sunday morning by a gunman’s killing of nine people in Dayton, Ohio.
(Mark Ralston/ AFP / Getty Images)

In El Paso and Dayton, the familiar fallout of a mass shooting repeats again.


The Madness of Mass Shootings

Two cities. Twelve and a half hours. Twenty-nine dead. In El Paso, a gunman opened fire at a crowded Walmart on Saturday, killing 20 and injuring 26. Within hours, authorities had tentatively linked him to a manifesto that railed against an “invasion” of Latino migrants. The bodies still lay in the aisles in El Paso when, more than 1,500 miles away in Dayton, Ohio, another gunman opened fire on a crowd, killing nine and injuring 27. “As is so often the case, the suspects were twenty-something white men, their weapons, assault-style rifles,” our front-page story notes. “As is also too often the case, blame flew in all directions: Easily accessible guns. A mental health crisis. White nationalists spreading hatred. A president who rallies supporters with racist rants. A 24/7 digital culture run amok.” The violence came as mourners in San Jose remembered the 13-year-old girl who was shot and killed, along with a 6-year-old boy and a 25-year-old man, at the Gilroy Garlic Festival last weekend.

Shoes are piled outside the scene of a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio.
(John Minchillo / Associated Press)

A Growing Sense of Fear


The massacre of 20 people by a man who traveled 650 miles to a Walmart in El Paso, reportedly with the intention of shooting “as many Mexicans as possible,” marks what appears to be one of the deadliest hate crimes ever against Latinos. The killer gunned down an Army veteran, a 15-year-old high school student, a mother who apparently used her body to shield her 2-month-old child, and 17 others whose stories are still emerging. For many Latinos, there is a fear that unless something major changes, there will be more violence.

More About the Violence

— After the El Paso attack, critics of President Trump are denouncing his heated rhetoric on race and immigration, while the president’s supporters are saying it’s unfair to blame him for inspiring such violence. On Sunday, Trump posted a handful of tweets and made brief comments to reporters as he returned to Washington from his New Jersey golf resort. He is expected to deliver remarks today.

Mexico is threatening legal action over the deaths of seven of its citizens in the El Paso massacre.

— A timeline of the worst mass shootings in the United States in the last four years.

Two professors who’ve studied every mass shooting since 1966 write: “Instead of simply rehearsing for the inevitable, we need to use ... data to drive effective prevention strategies.”

— Have you had enough? Columnist Steve Lopez says gun violence is a disturbing reality that doesn’t have to be.


‘My Dream Is Gone’

Under the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy, migrants who are forced to stay at Mexican shelters while they seek U.S. asylum are facing conditions that make them want to give up. Most must wait several months just for their initial asylum hearing, and few have access to immigration lawyers in the U.S. Many are now penniless or saddled with debt from their trips north. “My dream is gone,” said one Honduran migrant. “We don’t know anyone. We don’t have any money. We don’t have a place to sleep. The only thing we can do is go back to our country.”

Operation Damage Control

Every year, the icebreaker Polar Star slogs 11,500 miles from Seattle to Antarctica to reach scientific bases. Every year, it falls apart. That’s what happens when the only U.S. ship capable of bludgeoning through heavy ice is 43 years old and a new icebreaker is still five years away. Coast Guard commanders and their allies in Congress say the U.S. will need more icebreakers as climate change reshapes the polar regions. In the meantime, crew members aboard the Polar Star endure hardships — and scour EBay for discontinued parts.

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— A radical Baptist church in Sacramento, the capital of the state that is the vanguard for the so-called liberal resistance, is preaching hate against LGBTQ people.

— To house almost 600 homeless people, a Venice couple are working outside the system.

Electric scooters are good for the environment, right? Here’s why it’s not so simple.


— A deadly cliff collapse in Encinitas last week is raising questions about the stability of large swaths of the state that are lined by bluffs, many of which support houses or offer enticing patches of shade for families relaxing on the beach.

Jeffrey Johnson, a Los Angeles-based court of appeal justice, will face a legal tribunal today on charges that he sexually harassed another justice, court staff and state security officers and appeared in public intoxicated. He has denied the most serious charges brought by at least 17 women.

— Breaking up the status quo at L.A. City Hall? Both of these candidates from the northwestern San Fernando Valley argue they’d do it.


— The parishioners at St. Madeleine Sophie Barat Catholic Church in Trona have kept the faith as their town declined and two big earthquakes hit.


“Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood” is the year’s first surefire best picture Oscar nominee, and not just because it celebrates the film industry.

— The composer of the soundtrack in “Hobbs & Shaw,” the latest film in the “Fast & Furious” franchise to top the box office, has a surprising next gig: the music for a new Cirque du Soleil show in Las Vegas.

— The late D.A. Pennebaker helped define the modern rock star, among other things, through his films.


— The Trump administration was hoping to resume nuclear-disarmament talks with North Korea at a major Asian summit this week, but Pyongyang’s officials were a no-show.

Saudi Arabia has adopted landmark changes for women, including an end to travel restrictions.


— Egypt is restoring one of King Tutankhamen’s coffins for the first time since its discovery in 1922, part of the preparations for next year’s opening of the country’s lavish new museum overlooking the Pyramids of Giza.

— Chinese investors have been pouring money into development in Cambodia, but at what cost to Cambodians?


— With deductibles soaring, charity has become a lifeline even for Americans with health insurance.

Equifax’s data breach settlement: everything you need to know.


— Clippers coach Doc Rivers’ time with the Orlando Magic taught him how to deal with superstar players. He’ll need those lessons soon.

— The Dodgers claimed their ninth walk-off win of the season in an 11-10 triumph over the San Diego Padres, thanks to Max Muncy’s double.



— The U.S. women’s soccer team has called attention to the persistent problem of gender pay disparity. This moment shouldn’t pass without real action that goes beyond athletics, writes The Times Editorial Board.

Asian women fought the West’s slave trade. Then they were written out of history.


— What is 8chan and why is it linked to so many hate crimes? (The Guardian)

Amber is more scientifically valuable than ever, but it comes at a high financial and human cost. (The Atlantic)


The traffic, the parking, the getting there early to claim a picnic spot, the leaving late because of the traffic again. Yes, the Hollywood Bowl experience can be exhausting — and usually well worth it, as columnist Chris Erskine explains. But in the mornings, our Bowl floweth over with music during rehearsals. With people, not so much.

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