UPDATE at 5:11: Three heavily armed suspects are still at large, according to law enforcement. Fourteen people are dead; 14 people have been wounded. The target was apparently a social function involving local county government employees.
And as I note in the comments below, what’s the rationale for allowing the sale of body armor on the civilian market? I mean, other than feeding the paramilitary fantasies and ambitions of militia types?
UPDATE at 3:35:
According to both CNN and local media in San Bernardino, witnesses report seeing three heavily armed individuals leaving the scene of the shooting in a black SUV. If that turns out to be true, we’re not dealing with a disgruntled gunman but something more organized and also much more dangerous.
Initial police and fire reports are that as many as 20 people have been shot in San Bernardino, Calif. Multiple fatalities are reported.
The local sheriff’s department reports that one to three shooters may be involved, although such preliminary reports often turn out to be overstated. The site of the shooting is the Inland Regional Center, a state government facility that offers services to the developmentally disabled. It would seem a strange site for a jihadist attack, but that’s admittedly conjecture.
There is no indication why that particular location was targeted, and no indication as of 3:15 p.m. that the shooter or shooters have been neutralized. Witnesses report seeing at least one heavily armed shooter, protected by body armor. SWAT teams are reportedly inside the facility.
I do not know what the answer to such tragedies might be. But the idea that we are helpless against them is unacceptable. The idea that such tragedies can become a commonplace occurrence, something that we just take for granted, is equally unacceptable.