Just when you think you can enjoy America’s gun culture in all of its abstract glory, some asshole decides to go and shoot up the mall where you spent a substantial portion of your teen years:
The Town Center remains on lock-down status while SWAT teams are making systematic sweeps of the stores and corridors. The mall’s theaters have been evacuated and several TriMet buses have arrived to take witnesses away for orderly interviews.
The shooting rampage cut short the holiday atmosphere at the mall, instead spreading a pall of horror and shock.
According to preliminary reports, a man with a semiautomatic rifle opened fire near Macy’s around 3:29 p.m. The man, who may have been wearing body armor and camouflage clothing, also was seen near the mall’s food court.
John Canzano, sports columnist for The Oregonian, reported that as many as 60 shots were fired while he was shopping at the mall. Canzano said he first noticed people “running out of the mall kind of crying and upset.” He stopped a person who said “somebody has an automatic weapon and is shooting.” The man called the scene “not good, not good.”
Let me be the first to refrain from politicizing this tragedy by pointing out that if all those people running and crying and upset had been armed with handguns, this kind of tragedy could have
metastasized been avoided.