There was a mass shooting at a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia, last night, which resulted in six fatalities. It is unclear at this hour how many additional people have have been wounded.
The shooter also reportedly is dead, and appeared to have committed suicide. One report said that the shooter was a "disgruntled" Walmart employee.
No motives have yet been established.
This was the second mass shooting in the US in a week.
Some context from the New York Times:
"Mass shootings in the United States this year have come at a pace so fast that one community has barely started mourning the losses before another takes place. The shooting at a Walmart in Chesapeake, Va., on Tuesday happened just three days after five people were killed at an L.G.B.T.Q. club in Colorado Springs.
"A week earlier, three members of the University of Virginia football team were killed in Charlottesville, Va., by a former football player who opened fire in a garage, the authorities said.
"The Walmart shooting was one of several attacks at American grocery stores and big-box retail outlets in recent years. In May, a teenage gunman in Buffalo shot and killed 10 people and injured three more, almost all of them Black, at a Tops supermarket, in one of the deadliest racist mass shootings in recent history.
"Last year, a deadly shooting at a Boulder, Colo., supermarket left 10 people dead. Months later, another attack at a Kroger in Collierville, Tenn., about 30 miles east of Memphis, left one person dead and injured at least 14 others.
"In 2019, a 21-year-old gunman stalked shoppers at a Walmart in El Paso, leaving 23 people dead and 26 others wounded. Also in 2019, a deadly rampage at the JC Kosher Supermarket in Jersey City, N.J., by two perpetrators left four people dead in an antisemitic attack.
"Before 2019, only one mass shooting, in 1999, took place in a supermarket, according to research by Jillian Peterson, a professor at Hamline University, and James Densley, a professor at Metropolitan State University."
- KC's View:
This is madness.
I'm sure there will be people who will offer "thoughts and prayers," but that is not enough. Not even close.
When I write about these stories, I'm always careful to explain that I do not come from a gun culture, so I do not have any sort of emotional connection to the ownership and use of firearms. But I'm tired of offering that caveat.
I'm sure I will get criticized for saying this, but I don't much care. There are mass shootings in churches and schools and clubs and stores, and all I can think is that there are way too many guns out there. I have no idea if the Walmart shooter got his guns legally or not, but I don't much care. It just seems to me that there is something deeply flawed in the American psyche that we allow this to happen, and that we've gotten so used to it happening.
Retailers and schools and churches and clubs are going to have to turn themselves into armed camps in order to defend their people, and I think there is something deeply flawed in a culture that somehow thinks that this is permissible.
To be clear, I have no solution. But there has to be a middle ground on which reasonable people can agree that will allow for the continued enshrinement of "the right to bear arms" and yet create an environment in which only qualified people can get them. And I do wonder what the tipping point will be, and wonder why we haven't reached it yet.