Every year, the small city of Gilroy holds its Garlic Festival.
Last year 80,000 people attended over the 3-day festival. This year, they hoped to top 100,000 (which is double the population of Gilroy).
I have never attended.
I have never wanted to attend because Gilroy tends to be at least 10 degrees hotter than where we live, and it is held the end of July when temps in our area are already more than I am happier with, and I certainly don’t want to be in a huge crowd with the temps that high.
The Garlic Festival had tight security in place, including metal detectors at the entrance.
Last night, a gunman, used a tool to cut through a fence to access the Festival, and opened fire on the crowds at the Garlic Festival.
Last I heard 15 people were wounded and 3 killed.
One of the dead is a 6-year-old boy.
According to the police, the gunman is dead.
A friend of mine had a daughter working in a parking lot at the Garlic Festival and she was near where the shooting happened. Luckily, a bus was pulling up and she and some others got on board the bus and the driver took everyone to safety and waved off other approaching buses.
One of the people shot is a neighbor of that friend, another is the boyfriend of her daughter’s friend.
I actually don’t have a problem with people owning guns.
I don’t want one, but if you want to own a gun, I believe that is your right.
However, it is also your obligation and duty to make sure that gun is used appropriately and secured in a manner that the rest of us are not in danger because you want to own a gun.
I have a problem with how easy it is for guns to get into the hands of people who should not have them.
(The gunman was 19 years old, which means he could not purchase that weapon legally in the State of California.)
I have a problem with people being able to get guns that serve no other purpose than to kill as many people as possible in a brief amount of time.
Police say they confronted (and killed) the gunman in less than a minute after he opened fire. Yet, he was able to wound 15 people and kill 3 people in that time.
I have a problem with people who own guns and not storing them in a safe and secure manner.
Over the next few days, I expect we’ll hear more about what kind of gun he used, how he got it, and perhaps why he did what he did.
Those are details I don’t really need to hear.
It doesn’t really matter now, does it?
How many people have to die?
Thoughts and prayers may be heartfelt but they are not enough.
I am sure that the Garlic Festival will be back next year.
But it will never be the same, because some guy showed up with a gun.