Wednesday, December 2, 2015

A Tough Day in the Inland Empire

Greetings to all you faithful Giants fans who read this blog every day and write your comments.  I appreciate you all.  Today was a tough day in the Inland Empire of Southern California.  Yet another mass shooting took place at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino.  There was a subsequent shootout with the perpetrators on the streets of Redlands.  As I write this, I can hear a helicopter hovering and circling over an apartment just about 2 blocks from my house that the police and FBI are searching.

My family and I are all safe and sound.  As far as I know, all of our friends and colleagues are also safe.  My wife knows and works with many people who work out of the Regional Center.  At this time, we do not know if any of those acquaintances are among the victims of the shootings.

This is not a political blog and I do not intend to turn it into one.  Due to the proximity of this event, I wish to make the following statement:

We are currently experiencing an unprecedented epidemic of mass shootings in this country.  As with most things in life, I believe the causes are multifactorial and there is probably not one simple solution.  I do know that we cannot continue to simply grieve, wring our hands and hold vigils.  It will take a lot of hard work and it will probably take time, but we have to start turning this around and we need to start now.  Progress will likely require both better enforcement of current gun laws and also changes to current gun laws.  It will likely require changes in law enforcement and protection of private  and government places of business as well as public events.  It will likely require changes in mental health services and privacy laws as they pertain to mental health.  It will likely require a hard look at, and changes in, certain types of entertainment.  It will also require more civility in our political discourse.

Enough is enough!  The time for action is now!

Thank you all for being part of this community and for your support.

I will publish thoughtful comments on this post.

Dr B


  1. How many people have to die before our government does something about this? They are always so cautious of trying to not to discriminate when it comes to terrorism when the people who are doing these acts are all from the same areas. First off we should stop letting these people in the country. You don't see immigrants from areas like Asia or Latin America doing these things. How about stop giving visas to everybody in the Middle East. Why are we so nice by letting these people come into our great country only to betray us? It just needs to stop. What will it take to close our borders to these people. I hate to say it but it might take something like a dirty nuclear bomb being detonated on our soil to wake our government up. Forget big brother and start making files on everyone from that region who has immigrated here in the last 10-15 years and who has visited their homeland in the last few years. That would include my hair stylist who just got back from Iran and I have talked about these things with and she would be okay with giving up a little privacy so her family is safe. She is from Iran and would never want to go back. She loves America and has a nice family. I would be perfectly okay if the government did background checks on me if it will keep my family safe. I have nothing to hide.

    1. Roger,

      I said THOUGHTFUL comments. While immigration reform in general is way overdue, and we may need to re-examine immigration from the Middle East in particular, how can you point to that as being the solution to the epidemic of mass shootings when the vast majority have absolutely nothing to do with the Middle East? We have had over 350 mass shootings, defined by 3 or more victims in any one shooting, in this country so far this year, more than 1 per day. How many of those were perpetrated by Middle Easter terrorists? The vast majority that make the news headlines are by young white males with mental health problems. The majority of others are probably related to family disputes and gang violence. It is not even clear yet that what happened in the Inland Empire yesterday was related to the perpetrator's ethnicity or religion. So come on guys! Please give your comments, if you have any, a little more thought here.

    2. Absolutely agree, Dr. B!! Closing our borders is not the solution. One of the perpetrators was born in the US.

      Personally, I think people should be allowed to have guns for protection (maybe only shotguns and pistols?) and hunting. Any other type of high-caliber guns are not necessary and I definitely do subscribe to the belief that it's our "right" to own them. Guns kill, pure and simple. The argument that "people kill" doesn't hold much weight with me. Cowards use guns to kill. If people really want to kill people, make the only option to do it with less mass-destructive guns and other weapons (knives, bows/arrows, good old bare hands, etc). We also need a better supported mental health system and much tighter gun controls.



  2. Glad to hear that you and your family are safe. It's sad that mass shootings are becoming an epidemic occurrence In this country. CNN mentioned that there have been more mass shootings this year then the total number of days in a year. Stay safe and be vigilant.


  3. I thought about my family yesterday, who is scattered throughout that area. My great uncle works in Rancho Cucamonga, and I spent time all over those counties during my previous job as a college rep. Very scary, tragic, senseless stuff.

    It's amazing, really, that the political debates start raging the very second a new mass shooting comes across the BREAKING NEWS section. The biggest question I have about this epidemic is this: What has changed? People have always owned guns. People have always had mental health problems. People have always had beefs with this person, or that person, or their job, etc. Why, now, are so many deciding to run to the closet, load the gun and cause harm with such frequency? I certainly have my theories, but it's just boggles my mind.

    As someone who has grown up in a rural area, in a family that has loved hunting (as a means of sport, but also very much as a means of providing food) since long before I was born, it really hurts that all of this is putting a black eye on gun-owners. I think most reasonable people understand that their are many more safe, responsible hunters/sport shooters/gun collectors/etc. in this country than their are malicious ones. But there's also a lot of generalization going on.

    Frankly, it's hard for me not to feel a sense of uneasiness in public places anymore. Heck, even where I work, in a tiny elementary school... and that's sad. Let's hope there will be a time when those feelings fade away.

    Thanks for posting Doc. Glad you all are safe.

    Cove Chatter

  4. Doc, I to am happy to read that all is good with you and yours. As LG said "Stay safe and be vigilant"!

    Richard in Winnipeg

  5. DrB, Glad you and your family are safe as I 've been watching the news from nearby Anaheim Hills. I believe you hit the nail on the head with the civil discourse comment. Until you can disagree with a President's policies and not be labelled a racist, or want secure borders without being labelled a Nazi, or believe in the Second Amendment without being called a bible toting right wing nut, then I fear that there is no basis to have a real honest, frank and open discussions regarding extremely difficult issues.

    1. There is plenty of name calling going on from the Republican Right too. It all needs to stop and a serious discussion begin.

  6. There are so many guns already in circulation that whether they are acquired legally or illegally is almost irrelevant. This is a lot like the war on drugs in that you could throw billions of dollars at it trying to get rid of guns or regulate guns but really you will only be creating more problems. Americans love their guns and the more you try to regulate the more rednecks are going to rise up and push back. Instead of punishing gun loving Americans for the actions of others I think we need to seriously consider allowing and encouraging qualified civilians to open carry.

    On the surface this sounds like the dumbest idea ever. This is the kind of solution you would expect to hear from an NRA poster child but the more you think about it the more sense it can make. Like I said above, we can spend billions of dollar trying to control guns in this country and fail or you can take that money and invest it in security guards, police, and training capable civilians to defend themselves and others.

    There is one thing that all of these acts of terrorism/cowardness have in common and it is they all focus on soft targets. None of them are successfully targeting areas with heavy security or police presence. Our citizens are virtually unprotected when in public unless there is a police officer or security guard nearby. If everyday citizens were carrying firearms for protection it would seriously deter these cowards from going through with these acts.

    Call it the Red Blooded American Act and start to identify those of us who are capable of handling this kind of responsibility and provide training and registration. US born citizens that go through extensive background checks would be eligible and furthermore encouraged!! This should be looked at as a responsibility as proud Americans who are looking to defend their country. Yes this is a really difficult concept to embrace and support. Yes it would take a long transition period to get to the point where we as citizens are comfortable around other citizens carrying firearms. No this will not solve the problem entirely but it could be the most logical and economical solution.

    1. I hope this is not the best solution. Gun reduction laws have worked in other countries such as Australia.

  7. Even though I'm not an American at all, I feel this is becoming a world problem as there are also a lot of violence here Far East. I was wondering where are the stricter gun laws in America and all over the world too. I am happy that your folks are okay there as well as you, DrB. I am hoping that the world will be a safer place to live someday.

  8. DrB, no need to publish, just thankful that you and family are safe. Grab hold of your wife and daughter (think thats your immediate family) and show them how much they mean to you. Be as much of a hero as you can for them, every day.

    I live/work/play (WTC, Sandy Hook, BAA), and was really too close to each tragic event. Grateful to be alive. I thank 1st responders daily, for keeping us safe. They are under attack, yet get up every day and go back to keeping us safe.

    WE are under attack too. Need to stop denying it and take action regardless of PC.


  9. Hey Doc,

    Glad you and your family are safe. That is a very stressful situation to deal with.

    Its a very complicated situation, with no clear answers. Even in my own family gun law discussions can get ugly fast. One of my cousins is a swat guy who trains police to respond to these situations. I know its no comfort to those who lost loved ones but the police response to these situations is fast and professional and they are training/studying to get better.

    Nobody should have to go through these ordeals. I would propose a pilot program aimed towards training, licensing and arming administrators/teachers/doctors with concealed carry to eliminate the soft target aspect that these 15 minute of fame no-life loser/cowards gravitate towards. In edition, more government resources need to be brought to mental health, enforcing the gun laws on the books, and outreach programs. But from a statistical standpoint, this is a 1% issue, and I do think that there are a enormous number of responsible gun owners who should not have to jump through more hoops trying to comply with the various gun laws.

    I know this is such a hot issue, it gets political fast. From my standpoint, as a guy who has had guns in the family for many generations (urban and country) I always go back to what ultimately stops these things: people with guns show up. America has a very interesting history of immigration, conflict, diverse and heavy population numbers (that a lot of the other countries listed in various studies do not necessarily have). I also have lived in several of our nations fair cities with ahem, strict laws during my travels and tribulations (New York, San Francisco, Oakland, Baltimore and Los Angeles) and had time to hang out with armed Italian-Americans, Mexican-Americans, African-Americans and yes, white-boys, not all or nearly any were necessarily "permitted". I can get a firearm illegally in a very short time if I needed to. I do not think the answer is more laws. I do think enforcing laws on the books is a good thing, and I think our govt infrastructure is stretched so that doing so is an impossibility.

    I've had guns pulled on me in SF (Mission and 17th - attempted car jacking), Baltimore (attempted robbery) and growing up in Oakland as a kid. I've seen guns flashed more times than I have fingers. I doubt heavily one of those pieces are licensed or legal. In most cases of mass shootings, a legal gun is modified for automatic fire. I don't know how the police are supposed to enforce this law. I do know I don't want guns that are legally and safely in my possession to protect my family and home to be confiscated. But I also think that Americans do not need a M-16/AR-47 variant to protect said homes.

    Anyways, its a sad day, and a political issue, and this is a baseball blog. I'm glad you and your family are safe. Take care, and stay safe.

  10. jeepers, i totally forgot you were right there

    i used to pass right by the regional center on my way to service two of the facilities that the corp i worked for owned...very shocking


  11. Thanks to everybody who commented for your thoughts and support. I tried to publish thoughtful comments from differing perspectives. Unfortunately a few people seemed intent on trying to hammer home a relatively narrow political agenda and I chose to not publish them. I am going to thread up and will not publish any further comments on this subject. Since it is my blog, I get the last word.

    I do believe that there are sensible new laws which could be passed to reduce gun violence which would not infringe on the Second Amendment.

    Although I believe more guns will only lead to more gun deaths, I do believe there may be a role for placing carefully vetted and supervised armed guards at the entrances of "soft targets". In some cases these guards may need to be deputized citizens who go through some type of certification process.

    We may need to take a hard look at travel and immigration from certain regions. Anyone who thinks that building a wall across the border with Mexico will make one shred of difference is not dealing with a full deck upstairs.

    We also need to look at mental health care, particularly what is going on with alienated young males.

    We need to take a hard look at certain types of violent entertainment which may be fueling some of this behavior.

    It is shocking that there is apparently a law on the books banning government funding of research into the causes of gun violence. That needs to be repealed yesterday!

    Again, thanks for reading and commenting, everybody. Back to baseball!

    Dr B

  12. Guess this message won't be published, in which case it is a private message to DrB. Hope everyone is safe and well. My place of employment has been requiring active shooter training for the past few years. This is a pretty scary time. I agree we need to take immediate steps to remedy mass shootings. I don't expect I'll agree with every step, but a variety of actions need to be taken.