Just as I was sitting down to post Thank God It’s Monday this past Sunday night, the “breaking news” of the mass shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival flashed across my TV screen. Damn.

I don’t believe in “business as usual” when news such as this hits, particularly so close to my home. I didn’t know what to write that night. The news was stunning.

Gilroy is about 30 miles from the heart of Silicon Valley, a suburb of some 57,000 people. The Gilroy Garlic Festival has been in existence for 41 years. It is a celebration of garlic and every possible way of consuming garlic. It is also an event that raises substantial money for local charities. Some 4,000 volunteers help make the festival a reality each year for the 100,000 guests who attend.

I want to write about the good that flowed from this horrific event:

  • Law enforcement helped ensure more people weren’t killed or injured. Agencies from many municipalities assisted the Gilroy Police Department. This was a wonderful collaboration.
  • Fire and EMTs provided invaluable assistance rendering aid to those who were injured. Helicopters transported the most seriously injured patients.
  • Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SCVMC) in San Jose and St. Louise Hospital in Gilroy played substantial roles in dealing with those who were shot and injured. Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, owned by Santa Clara County, now owns St. Louise Hospital. Stanford Hospital received patients.

SCVMC is a Level 1 trauma center, meaning it is equipped to handle all types of patients and their injuries. The spokesperson at SCVMC said that off-duty staff came to assist knowing they could help. Very noble of them. I hope the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors see the incredible value provided by the organizations they have helped to build and fund.

  • Federal agencies have helped to process the crime scene including the FBI and ATF. I am sure there are additional agencies.

Three people died from their injuries. Another 16 were treated. Not all are home from the hospital as I write this.

What lessons can be learned from this?

California already has strict gun laws. The 19-year-old who perpetrated this act of terror procured the gun legally in Nevada. The type of gun used in the crime cannot be legally purchased in California. It was illegal to transport the weapon into the state of California. The laws were of little help for someone who carefully planned this act of terror.

[Note: I wrote this on Friday, August 2nd. I had no idea of the tragedies that would befall El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, within hours of each other. I’m shaking my head as I write this. What will bring an end to this insanity?]

Thought for the week:
“Destroying the rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.” ― E. O. Wilson Heard Via Tim Ferriss


Dave Gardner

Dave Gardner is a management consultant, speaker, blogger and author based in Silicon Valley. He's been in the front row for the birth and evolution of Silicon Valley, the innovation capital of the world. Since 1992, Dave Gardner has focused on making the complex simple around people, process and technology. He can be reached through his website, www.DaveGardner.biz, or via phone at +1 408-475-7068.

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