After San Jose Shooting, Newsom Asks, ‘What the Hell is Wrong With Us?’


Rail Yard Shooting in San Jose

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Gov. Gavin Newsom asks: ‘What the hell is wrong with us?’

California Governor Gavin Newsom takes a moment to compose his emotions during a news conference regarding the San Jose rail yard shooting in San Jose, Calif., on Wednesday.Credit…Amy Osborne/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

May 26, 2021, 6:30 p.m. ET

Gov. Gavin Newsom of California condemned the “rinse and repeat” cycle of mass shootings in America as he spoke to reporters on Wednesday about the killing of eight people at a rail yard in San Jose.

There have been 68 mass shootings in the United States in the past two months, according to the Gun Violence Archive, which defines a mass shooting as one in which four or more people are injured or killed.

“It begs the damn question, what the hell is going on in the United States of America?” Mr. Newsom said. “What the hell is wrong with us, and when are we going to come to grips with this?”

Mr. Newsom implored lawmakers to take action, and told all Americans to “take a little damn responsibility, all of us, to do a little bit more and a little bit better this time, and move beyond the platitudes and the usual rhetoric that tends to mark not just these moments but the aftermath of these moments.”

The number of mass shootings declined during much of the coronavirus pandemic, but they have become more frequent since March, when a gunman killed eight people at spas in the Atlanta area. Mr. Newsom called mass shootings a “pre-existing condition” that had once again “reared its ugly head.”

The shooting in San Jose is believed to be the deadliest in the Bay Area since 1993, when a gunman used three semiautomatic pistols to kill eight people at an office building in downtown San Francisco.

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