Welcome to the abattoir—a nation where a man can walk into a store and buy an assault rifle, a shotgun, a couple of Glocks; where in the comfort of his darkened living room, windows blocked from the sunlight, he can rig a series of bombs unperturbed and buy thousands of rounds of ammo on the Internet; where a movie theater can turn into a killing floor at the midnight hour.
We know about all of this. We know because the weekend of July 20
became all-Aurora-all-the-time, a round-the-clock engorgement of TV news
reports, replete with massacre theme music, an endless loop of victims,
their loved ones, eyewitness accounts, cellphone video, police
briefings, informal memorials, and “healing,” all washed down with a
presidential visit and hour upon hour of anchor and “expert”
speculation. We know this because within a few days a Google search for
“Aurora movie shootings” produced over 200 million hits referencing the
massacre that left seventy-plus casualties, including twelve fatalities.
We know a lot less about Anaheim and the killing of Manuel Angel
Diaz, shot in the back and in the head by that city’s police just a few
short hours after the awful Aurora murders.
But to the people living near La Palma Avenue and North Anna Drive,
the shooting of Manuel Diaz was all too familiar: it was the sixth,
seventh or eighth police shooting in Anaheim, California, since the
beginning of 2012. (No one seems quite sure of the exact count, though
the Orange County District Attorney’s office claims six shootings, five fatalities.)