After another mass shooting in Sacramento, the crisis before us is clear: It’s the guns

The energy that downtown Sacramento lost during two years of pandemic restrictions had just started returning when six people were killed and at least 12 were wounded early Sunday in Sacramento’s second mass shooting in five weeks.

The victims of this massacre were mostly young people who were out socializing in an active K Street mall. Now they will never go home to their families. Sacramento is again making national headlines for all the wrong reasons.


California has the strongest gun laws in the nation, yet steps away from the Capitol were city blocks that resembled a war zone.

The casualties were ordinary people whose desire to go out on a Saturday night put them in harm’s way.

“This morning our city has a broken heart,” Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg said at an emotional news conference Sunday morning. “This is a senseless and unacceptable tragedy.”

Video footage circulating on social media captured the horrifying moments when gunfire erupted after 2 a.m. on 10th and K streets. It’s difficult to watch knowing that six families will never be the same, their loved ones killed in the chaos. Countless others will be forever traumatized by the horrors of this violent act in Sacramento’s core.

Residents spent Sunday morning calling family and friends, checking in on each other. By midday, a strip of K Street that’s home to Sharif Jewelers, the Crest Theatre and El Santo had transformed into a sprawling crime scene, with investigators circling shattered glass, blood and chalk outlines of bodies.

In an attempt to make sense of this tragedy, some people will prematurely project their political beliefs and personal views onto the situation, lamenting policies or practices that may have no bearing on this violent outburst.

The only thing that is consistent in mass shootings are the weapons of war that enable them, and the inability of leaders to fulfill their promises to address this scourge of suffering in our communities.

“In what sane society do we allow the proliferation of assault weapons in the way we see being used indiscriminately not just in Sacramento, but in other parts of the country?” Steinberg said. “God, can we not have a sane debate where on one side of the line you say that people who want to use firearms for sport or for hunting or even for self defense on one side and on the other side of the line we say there is absolutely no place for rapid fire assault weapons anywhere, anyhow?

Can we make that distinction? Obviously we can’t.”

California lawmakers have promised action on gun violence this year to hold manufacturers and sellers accountable, and curtail unnecessary access for young people.

We mourn the needless loss of life and feel the immense heartache spreading across the community, sickened by the senseless nature of a tragedy that struck a bustling corridor of nightclubs and bars where young people go to have fun.

The Sacramento community has to come together in the aftermath of this unspeakable tragedy. Our city has become ground zero for the nation’s mass shooting epidemic, and our response can either further the status quo of inaction or serve as the spark for a safer, healthier future.

— The Sacramento Bee

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