I haven’t written one of these blogs in a few weeks because my wife and I left town for a vacation. We returned last weekend, and then I didn’t write anything because there was so much going on here politically I couldn’t figure out what to write about.
Now all those political questions seem trivial in the face of real life tragedy. I’ve always thought of Santa Monica as the perfect place to write about if you’re interested in life lived locally because in our small city you can find every issue there is, but now that regrettably includes one of the defining issues of American life today – what happens when a mentally ill young man gets his hands on a military assault weapon.
I can only offer profound sympathy to the families of the victims, including to the mother of the perpetrator, admiration for those in the community who kept their heads in the midst of panic (such as those who had the presence of mind to find a place they could make safe in the college library), and thanks and kudos to our fearless public safety officers.
Think of those cops entering the library to face a man armed to the teeth and wearing bulletproof gear. Next time you hear those pathetic arguments coming from the gun lobby about how citizens need guns to protect themselves from an oppressive government, remember our local police and what we expected of them Friday.
Let’s just hope the Supreme Court doesn’t interpret the Second Amendment to let people buy hand grenades.
Finally let’s not forget that fundamentally this is all about mental illness and its treatment in our society. We don’t know enough at the moment about the mental health history of John Zawahri, and what might have been done to prevent what happened Friday, but when you’re making your charitable gifts this year, I recommend that you make one to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
Thanks for reading.
This was a touching column and very thoughtful – so sad for our beautiful city – thank you Frank.
A very thoughtful and important commentary. Thank you Frank Gruber!