A rampage that left five people dead, including the suspected gunman, in the wealthy, liberal, seaside paradise of Santa Monica, Calif. reminds us that guns and killers are everywhere in America.

This is no red state burg with a culture of hunting, nor a rural backwater. Once known as the People’s Republic of Santa Monica, the city is part of the larger metropolis of Greater Los Angeles, home to movie producers, as well as those artists and teachers who can still afford to live there. Marxist playwright Bertolt Brecht lived there. Renowned architect Frank Gehry has a house in the city. It’s one of the last places in the country one would associate with gun violence.

That’s not true. There have been gang shootings and crime in Santa Monica over the years. Although it’s still too early to tell, this looks different. With a man reportedly shooting his way from his home to Santa Monica College, using an AR-15-style assault rifle, it appears like the kind of crime to which other parts of the country have grown numb.

As of Friday evening, five people have been reported dead, including the suspected gunman, who was shot by police. Police say another man who had been taken into custody as a person of interest was not involved in the shootings.

If it can happen in Santa Monica, it can happen anywhere in America.

— Posted by Peter Z. Scheer.


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