The shooting this morning in Colorado is absolutely horrifying. Also terrifying is that the death toll from the shooting is about half of the average gun-related deaths in the US every day.
Since just last Thursday, July 12th, police have responded to six shootings in Portland. Two of those were fatal and one of the not-fatal incidents involved a police officer.
Here's what the week looks like:
Thursday: Reports of two guys shooting into a North Portland apartment complex. Another report of someone pulling into an apartment complex on 129th and Division and firing shots.
Saturday: A gang-related shooting in Cully, where a man reportedly fires at a house near NE 46th and Killingsworth.
Tuesday: An officer-involved-shooting, where a 17-year-old guy suspected of having a gun ran from a traffic stop on SE 148th Avenue. A police officer shot him with a less-lethal beanbag gun and another officer shot him with an actual gun—he was injured and taken into custody. No weapon was found on him, but two loaded guns were found in a yard nearby.
Wednesday: A 31-year-old man is shot and killed in the parking lot of a strip club on SE 99th and Stark.
Thursday: A 49-year-old man was shot and killed on 5800 block of NE 6th Avenue, allegedly shot by two men.
The point here is that gun violence is real and terrible, even here in statistically rather safe Portland. The police just announced that in response to this morning's theater shooting, they'll be doing extra patrols around movie theaters "to help people feel reassured about their personal safety." But we can't protect against the epidemic of gun deaths with a few extra police patrols—when are we ever going to be up for writing laws that keep guns out of the hands of people who use them to kill people?