The Violence Policy Center, a D.C.-based think tank, ranked California as No. 1 in drive-by shootings among the 50 states. According to the group’s report, from July through December 2006 there were 549 drive-by shootings reported in the nation and 156 lives taken, 465 injured. California was way out in front with 115 shootings (51 dead and 123 injured). A distant second was Florida, with 57 drive-by shootings and 18 killed, 47 injured. Texas was third, followed by Illinois and Ohio. My first reaction was that I was not shocked, thinking of South LA and Northwest Pasadena. Then, I learned of a drive-by shooting that happened last week just a few streets from where I live in Temple City. Someone drove by and fired four to six shots. One of the bullets hit 17-year-old Deandre Eugene Netter in the chest. He died a short time later. I drive past the memorial — a shrine with candles and the victim’s picture – every day on my way home from work. Every time I hear someone say this thing doesn’t happen in nice neighborhoods, I will think twice. This one happened way too close to home.