Last Friday was horrific for the Santa Monica Police Department beginning with a call about an assault with a deadly weapon near 4th and Santa Monica Blvd.
When officers arrived in front of the REI store they found a man who had been stabbed numerous times but the attacker had disappeared.
Valerie, a loyal reader, happened to be on that corner shortly afterward and, given all the blood on the sidewalk, was stunned the victim survived. (All due respect, this is Santa Monica we’re talking about not Detroit or Chicago.)
At 1 a.m. Saturday there was another police emergency. At Colorado Blvd. and Ocean Avenue by the pier, there was a deadly shooting spree that also resulted in three other serious injuries. Police are still searching for multiple gunmen.
The incident began when several occupants of a party bus parked on Ocean exited the bus and got into an altercation with a group from another bus parked nearby.
A short time later, several armed suspects fired repeatedly into one of the buses and fled the scene on foot. Suffice it to say, this is not the Santa Monica in which I’ve lived for the past 43 years.
Another example, near my apartment not long ago there was a “homeless shootout” where one homeless man killed another before fleeing. He was tracked down by police in a nearby park and shot after which he was taken to the hospital and eventually into custody.
Weeks earlier, Russ Braunstein, a local handyman, was attacked on Hollister Avenue while walking from his truck to his apartment.
The male assailant had just gone wild in a Main Street restaurant, breaking a waiter’s arm by smashing it with a chair. So it turns out, Russ was lucky. Go figure.
That said, it appears Santa Monica is Mayberry compared to the recent nationwide violence.
There was the massacre in Las Vegas in which 58 people were gunned down like a video game and approximately 500 were injured making it the worst mass murder in American history.
Over and over in these tragedies, our politicians send “our thoughts and prayers” to the victim’s families and, so far, do nothing to remedy the problem.
Despite 80% of the country wants gun control, catering to the NRA, Trump says, “It’s too soon to talk about it.” And yet, in New York, when a terrorist in a truck mowed down and killed eight pedestrians, Trump immediately called for the death penalty and advocated that he be tried at Guantanamo.
Apparently, when it involves gun rights, it’s too soon, when it involves foreigners, the Toddler in Chief issues impulsive and childish tweets.
That takes us to the unimaginable tragedy in Texas where 26 people, ages 18 months to 77 were slaughtered (14 being children) while attending church. The killer, had a dishonorable discharge from the Air Force and a record of assaulting his wife and infant step son. Fittingly, he used a military style assault rifle to execute his victims. This type of carnage happens so often of late, tragically, it’s become very “imaginable.”
Trump said “This isn’t a gun issue, it’s a mental health issue.” Apparently he totally forgot, a month after taking office, he signed a GOP bill making it EASIER for the mentally ill to get guns!
In S. Korea an irritated Trump suggested it was not appropriate to talk about gun violence while he was “in the heart of South Korea.” (But he did manage to shamelessly plug one of his golf courses while giving a speech to the S. Korean legislature.)
As for the 2nd Amendment, advocates completely ignore the beginning of the amendment, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state…” All they pay attention to is the second half, “The right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed”.
If this right can’t be infringed, why couldn’t I own a tank? Or a bazooka? Or a shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles? (Other than I have a bad shoulder.)
Because the newly-founded U.S. did not have a standing army, it made sense for farmers to have guns. That way, in case of a foreign invasion, the various militias could protect our country.
The 2nd Amendment folks also seem to forget the words “Well-regulated militia.”
Here, the apparent spike in Santa Monica crime could have nothing to do with the Expo line. The Expo was to improve transit options for Santa Monica residents and be a “gravy train,” for local businesses from the hordes of visitors.
We got the hordes alright, but I fear we’ve gone from the gravy train to the crazy train. Or is it the “crime train?”
What’s happened in Santa Monica is a crime. (Pun intended.) For now, let’s just hope this Friday is nothing like last Friday.
Jack is at facebook.com/jackneworth, twitter.com/jackneworth and firstname.lastname@example.org