Staff, students react to mass shootings

By: Sarah Stortz

By the end of this month, if conservative estimates hold up, the United States will have a grand total of 353 mass shootings that have occured in 2015.

This disturbing trend has unfortunately increased last Wednesday in San Bernardino, Calif., when a married couple walked into the Inland Regional Center and opened fire. The shooters, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, ended up killing 14 people and injuring 21 others.

This is now the deadliest attack in the United States since the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in 2013.

About a week prior, another shooting spree occurred inside a Planned Parenthood clinic at Colorado Springs, Colo. The shooter, Robert Lewis, Dear, Jr., committed the massacre in order to spread protest against the Planned Parenthood movement. He killed three people inside the clinic along with injuring another nine.

With some type of shooting occurring in our country nearly every day, the attention on the topic has reached an all-time high. Everybody around the country seems to have something to say about the epidemic, especially significant political figures.

On the day of the shooting, Sen. Bernie Sanders sent out a tweet regarding his feelings on the San Bernardino tragedy. “Mass shootings are becoming an almost-everyday occurrence in this country,” he said. “This sickening and senseless gun violence must stop.”

No one can ever argue with Sanders claim that all of the mass shooting happening in America needs to stop, but the bigger question asks how exactly it needs to stop.

Since shootings have occurred so often, the argument over gun restriction frequently breaks out, with each side arguing which action will benefit the most.

The ongoing debates over gun laws between politicians reflects the viewpoints of several CFHS staff and students as well.

Senior Seth Harwood is one student who said he believes that there should be a tougher regulation on obtaining a gun. “It seems silly for people to get their hands on large arsenals that are only intended to kill other people,” Harwood said. “It’s so unregulated now, and regulation is nice. It keeps bad things from happening.”

ALPHA teacher Mike Kangas, on the contrary, said that if gun laws are not followed, they shouldn’t change. “The fact that most of these gunmen didn’t follow any gun laws in the first place, all you’re doing is taking guns away from people that are willing to follow the law,” he said. “The people that don’t want to follow the law aren’t going to follow it anyways, so a law isn’t going to change that.”

Junior Albie Nicol said that in regards to the San Bernardino shooting, the resolution to the problem may be much more ambiguous than just restricting gun laws. “[The shooters] went through all the checks. They checked out with their guns, so I’m not even sure if that would help in this case,” Nicol said. “I do believe there are criminals out there that get guns illegally, and that’s not great, so we should probably have stricter gun laws.”

Although very few people in the building would know the responsibility of having a gun and the procedure to obtain one, school liaison officer Mike Leary frequently carries a gun by his side during the school day. For his professional job, Leary needed to pass several qualification courses and classes in order to obtain his gun, which he has carried for five years.

“Understandably, since firearms can be dangerous and lethal, it would be in all users’ best interest to go through training in firearms,” Leary said. “I think it is always helpful for people to have an understanding of how something works prior to using it.”

Having a position in the justice system, Leary said he thinks that the outbreak of mass shooting are happening because of how our society currently operates. He suggests that more attention should be given to the correlation system and our society should learn more about addressing mental health concerns.

“If the goal of the correctional system is to reduce crime, then it has to have an overall different look of something other than incarceration. While that is a popular method of crime prevention, it is not a complete fix to the problem,” Leary said “Mass shootings or incidence of mass violence will not be prevented until there is a different outlook within our society.”

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.