As Santa Barbara authorities continue to try and get their arms around a deadly scenario that unfolded Friday evening in a popular beach community, many people are wondering if it could have happened in their town and/or been prevented.
Mass killings unfortunately have been all too common in this country, including Southern California.
In the summer of 1984 (30 years ago this July 18), 21 individuals were fatally shot in a San Diego area (San Ysidro) McDonald's by James Oliver Huberty, with 19 others injured. Huberty was eventually killed by police, but not before committing the deadliest rampage in U.S. history, that was until the Texas 1991 Luby's massacre.
In the latest deadly rampage to hit Southern California, police say that 22-year-old Elliot Rodger first stabbed to death his three roommates, then went on a shooting spree that left three other innocent people dead, this before reportedly killing himself in his vehicle with a gunshot to the head.
According to documents and videos obtained online, Rodger planned the killings ahead of time, lamenting in both written and video tirades that he planned to get retribution against those (mainly young women at the University of California, Santa Barbara) he felt denied him pleasure in life.
A Washington Post report outlined the chain of events, beginning with Rodger killing three men in his residence.
When the night of terror was over, authorities were still trying to put all the pieces together, including why a man from what seemed like a well-to-do family would carry out such a heinous crime.
In what most expected would be some of the fallout from this tragedy, a number of people (including one of the deceased victim's fathers) railed against gun control in this country.
First, no one (unless they have lost a child in similar fashion) can even begin to contemplate what the deceased victim's parents are going through right now. All we can do is offer our prayers that they get through this.
That said, it seems that guns are of course the weapon of choice to speak out against.
Have we heard anyone looking to control or ban knives in wake of the fact that Rodger reportedly killed three innocent people with a knife or knives? The answer to that of course is no.
There are lessons to learn each time one of these terrible tragedies happens.
Yes, we do need to re-evaluate our gun control measures in this country, something that can and should be done regularly.
We also, however, need to stop jumping on the "blame all tragedies on guns" bandwagon each and every time one of these events happens.
Unless I'm wrong or terribly uneducated, a gun has never walked into a school, deli, shopping mall, restaurant etc. and killed someone.