Once we truly value human lives as much as semi-automatic weapons, these horrific acts will hopefully come to a halt.

You never imagine that some crazy person wielding a gun will riddle your community with bullets and kill your loved ones.


But early Friday morning, Pensacola became the latest place in the United States to undergo such a terrible, senseless tragedy.


For unknown reasons, an “active shooter” chose to shoot up a building filled with military personnel receiving training at Pensacola Naval Air Station on the eve of the 78th anniversary of Pearl Harbor.


The Northwest Florida Daily News had scheduled me to cover the popular World War II remembrance Friday morning at the National Naval Aviation Museum.


But hours before I planned to go, the shooter killed three and wounded eight.


The Pensacola shooting comes just two days after a shooting at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii left two shipyard workers dead and another one injured.


Pensacola and the military have roots that have been intertwined for several centuries, dating back to the Spanish conquistadors.


NAS Pensacola also holds a special place in the military as the “Cradle of Naval Aviation.” Every single pilot in the military learns to fly there.


The base earns even more prestige for hosting the Blue Angels, an elite team of pilots who entertain the world with death defying acrobatic maneuvers at unmatched speeds in F/A-18 Hornet Aircraft.


About 60,000 military students from all different branches and countries receive training every year at the base.


Every time this happens, towns mourn. People ask why? Few answers seem forthcoming.


Can we ever expect these mass killings to come to an end?


Many Americans cling to their right to bear arms like God granted it to them. God forbid we restrict their use.


Inevitably the tragedy blows over. We go back to our daily lives. We sleep peacefully again until the next time someone shoots up a base, school, post office or workplace.


Solutions do exist. America could use a civil, open debate.


Once we truly value human lives as much as semi-automatic weapons, these horrific acts will hopefully come to a halt.


Duwayne Escobedo covers Santa Rosa County for the Daily News. You can contact him at 850-315-4489 in Fort Walton Beach, on his cell phone at 850-255-1484 or email him at descobedo@nwfdailynews.com