State Watch

Newsom on San Jose shooting: ‘What the hell is going on’ in the US

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Wednesday condemned the spike in mass shootings nationwide after eight people were killed by a gunman at a rail yard in San Jose, Calif., earlier that day.

Newsom, at a press conference alongside authorities, asked “what the hell is going on in the United States of America” when recognizing the trend in mass shootings nationwide.

“The hell’s wrong with us?” Newsom asked. “And when are we going to come to grips with this? When are we going to put down our arms — literally and figuratively — our politics, stale rhetoric, finger-pointing, all the hand-wringing, consternation that produces nothing except more fury and frustration … over and over again?” 

At least eight people were killed in a shooting at a San Jose rail yard Wednesday morning.

The shooter, who was identified as a male employee of the Valley Transportation Authority, the facility where the shooting took place, also died.

Authorities say they believe he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Newsom said people are likely feeling a “numbness” following the fatal shooting in California because of what he called “a sameness to this,” referring to the trend of mass shootings across the country.

“There’s a numbness I imagine some of us are feeling about this because there’s a sameness to this,” Newsom said, adding that it “feels like this happens over and over and over again.”

He thought back to previous shootings in the state, most recently an April incident in Southern California that left four people dead, including two children.

“It wasn’t that long ago I was standing out here talking about the tragic loss of two children, one in a mother’s arms, at the Gilroy festival, here in this community,” Newsom said, also mentioning shootings in San Bernardino and Santa Barbara.

“In the United States of America, we’re experiencing something just not experienced anywhere else in the world. … All of us gathered here today, looking at this scene, listening to governors, mayors, chiefs speaking in similar tone and terms, expression of condolences, all the right emotions and perhaps the right words,” he added.

Newsom called for people to “move beyond the platitudes and the usual rhetoric” that often follow mass shootings.

The news of the shooting comes after several mass shootings in the U.S. after states lifted coronavirus restrictions and eased stay-at-home orders. 

The nation was left reeling after a gunman went on a shooting spree in Atlanta, killing several people — most of whom were Asian — at massage parlors. 

Newsom said during the press conference that it’s time to address gun violence. 

“It’s time to deal with the endemic before this pandemic of gun violence, the preexisting condition that somehow sort of pushed aside last year but now has raised its ugly head again this year,” the governor said.

He added that it was time to “wake up to this reality and take a little damn responsibility, all of us, to do a little bit more and a little bit better this time.”

Newsom said that prior to the press conference he had “the privilege” of “spending the last few hours with the victims that are waiting to just learn if their loved one is still alive.”

He added that he wanted to “thank the heroism of those victims.”

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