On November 14, a gunman in Rancho Tehama, California, shot 15 people. Five died. It was the 318th mass shooting of 2017 in the US. Of these, it ranked as the fifth deadliest (tied with a June 5 attack in Orlando, Florida). In terms of injuries, it was the sixth worst (tied with May 20 in Philadelphia and January 27 in Brownsville, Tennessee). The assailant was himself killed by law enforcement.
As it so happens, I arrived in the area later that same day, on my way from Portland to Mendocino County. My plan was to harvest olives from an untended orchard near the town of Corning.
I’d been listening exclusively to MP3s on the drive, so didn’t hear anything about the shooting until I stopped in a restaurant for dinner. It was a Thai place, which is always a great choice for meatless and gluten-free food, which are my preferences. Though it was around 7pm, I was the only customer. The owner immediately volunteered why that was.
“Everyone’s nervous to go out tonight after what happened today,” she said, and then detailed the violent event after I expressed my ignorance of it.
“We’re taking it hard,” she added. “This a small place and we all know each other.”