A gunman shot to death 10 people and injured at least 10 others on Saturday at a ballroom dance studio in Monterey Park, Calif., a city of about 60,000 people east of Los Angeles. He opened fire as many people in the city, which is predominantly Asian, were celebrating the eve of Lunar New Year.
Many of the victims were in their 50s and 60s, said Sheriff Robert Luna of Los Angeles County, though he did not identify them.
The gunman, whom the authorities identified as 72-year-old Huu Can Tran, is believed to have then gone to a dance hall in the neighboring city of Alhambra. But he fled, according to the authorities. Officers later found him in a parked van after he reportedly shot himself to death.
The gunman used “a magazine-fed semiautomatic assault pistol” that is probably not legal in California, Luna said. His motives remain under investigation.
“Gun violence needs to stop,” Luna said. “There’s too much of it.”
This kind of mass shooting has become tragically common in the U.S.; what would be a rare horror in any other developed country is typical here. Yet the cause is no mystery. America has an enormous amount of guns, making it easier for someone to carry out a deadly shooting.
It is a point this newsletter has made before: All over the world, there are people who argue, fight over relationships, suffer from mental health issues or hold racist views. But in the U.S., those people can more easily obtain a gun and shoot someone.
The data bears out this explanation. The U.S. is a clear outlier for both civilian gun ownership and number of gun deaths among the world’s developed countries, as this chart by my colleague Ashley Wu shows:
If anything, the chart, which uses data from 2017 and 2018, understates America’s problem. The U.S. rate of gun homicides has increased in recent years, according to the Small Arms Survey.
The data exposes a clear trend: Where there are more guns, there are more gun deaths. Studies have found this to be true at the state and national level, and for homicides, suicides, mass shootings and police shootings. Stricter regulations on firearms are linked to fewer gun deaths.
But efforts to reduce access to firearms have mostly stalled in the U.S., unable to overcome the Supreme Court’s interpretations of the Second Amendment, mixed public opinion and a closely divided federal government.
So America continues to suffer more mass shootings and gun deaths than its peers. Monterey Park, Calif., is simply the latest tragedy.
More on the shooting
THE LATEST NEWS
China has adopted rules restricting digital deepfakes, as other countries struggle to balance public trust and freedom of speech.
China is also expanding its power in the Solomon Islands, but residents are pushing back against its influence.
U.S. officials say they believe Russian military officers directed a far-right group to send letter bombs to Spain’s prime minister and others.
Canada agreed to pay about $2 billion to settle a lawsuit over the harm done to Indigenous people through residential schools.
Cholera is surging in Malawi, which had nearly eradicated the disease.
Other Big Stories
Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s close alliance with Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene helps explain his rise and the Republican Party’s shift to the right.
President Biden is planning to name his former coronavirus response coordinator, Jeffrey Zients, as the White House chief of staff.
People in their 20s are struggling to save because of student debt and housing costs.
A legacy of tears: Family and friends mourned Lisa Marie Presley at Graceland this weekend.
Gail Collins and Bret Stephens discuss Biden’s classified documents and Representative George Santos.
A.I. enhances our lives — but it can also spread misinformation, racially profile and make deadly mistakes, and Congress must act, Representative Ted Lieu argues.
Climate future: Two activists with four decades between them discuss next steps.
Metropolitan Diary: A wrong turn yields an act of kindness.
Quiz time: Take our latest news quiz and share your score (the average was 8.4).
A Times classic: How a college student cured her loneliness.
Lives Lived: Betty Lee Sung was a pioneering scholar of the Asian American diaspora. She died at 98.
SPORTS NEWS FROM THE ATHLETIC
Bengals and 49ers advance: Joe Burrow and Cincinnati beat the Bills in Buffalo, and San Francisco survived a frantic game with the Cowboys. The N.F.L.’s final four are set.
No. 1 goes down: Temple upset the top-ranked Houston in college basketball, a loss that could send the Cougars tumbling down the seed line.
ARTS AND IDEAS
A suite for Fido
As Americans embrace their dogs as full-fledged members of the family, some are asking home builders to pamper their furry children, Lia Picard writes in The Times.
One client with French bulldogs asked for a kennel-like area off the primary bedroom, with a dog door that opens from the outside and a dedicated fridge, said Mel Bean, an interior designer. The room leads directly to a dog shower, she said, since French bulldogs are “notoriously messy eaters.”
When Kelly Ladwig was having a new home built, she requested a playhouse for her three cats and two dogs, with a balcony she calls the catio. “These are our children,” she said.
PLAY, WATCH, EAT
What to Cook