The SIREN asks students after the San Bernadino tragedy: Do we need more gun control?
In light of the mass shooting Wednesday in San Bernardino Calif., many students at Lincoln Park agree that we need stronger gun control laws and that they are concerned for their safety.
However, not all students believe that guns should be taken away.
Senior Nini Delaney
Nini Delaney, a senior theater major from Midland, says, “I’m concerned but I don’t think taking them away is the answer because people use them for protection. I know when I’m old enough the first thing I’m gonna do is buy a gun because I’ll pass the background check; I’m not crazy. I’m going to be living in a big city, I’ll need protection.”
Junior Literary Arts major and resident of Wampum, Danielle Bain, agrees. “There are already tons of laws. There could be more, but I don’t think that would fix the problem” says Bain. “Because one of the safest places in the world is Switzerland, and they have guns in every single home and there is a very low crime rate. So I don’t think that the problem is guns, I think it’s something else; and more constrictive gun laws might fix something, but I don’t think it’s going to fix it totally. I think we need to focus on something else to fix the problem.”
Junior Danielle Bain
At an office party, in San Bernadino, Calif., Wednesday morning, there was a mass shooting that took the lives of 14 people, and injured another 17. Two of those people remained in critical condition this afternoon.
Following the mass shooting, there was a car chase and shootout which resulted in the death of two suspects, Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik. It took place at the Island Regional Center, a facility for the developmentally disabled, where Farook was employed. Farook and Malik had come to the office party dressed in tactical gear and carrying .223 caliber assault rifles, semiautomatic handguns and explosive devices. Earlier that morning, Farook had been at the party as an employee, but then left in anger, and returned with Malik around 11 a.m. The police are unsure about a motive. Some amount of planning had been involved. A third suspect is currently detained.
Some Lincoln Park students believe that this incident demonstrates the need for stronger gun control laws.
“Yes, because so many people can’t handle the responsibility of owning a gun,” said Trisha Dietrick, an eighth grade Dance major from Mars. “It’s fine for people who use them for good reasons but too many use them for bad.”
Elijah Jarovich, a senior Music major from Midland, adds, “Mass shootings happen too often and just doing psych checks isn’t going to help. Columbine being the perfect example. Everyone knew the kid and said he was 100 percent normal and sane. Look at the tragic outcome. Though it may piss people off, the gun laws need to be more strict and people who carry need not be more selfish. This doesn’t solve all killings but it helps prevent many.”
Senior Elijah Jarovich
The house in which the San Bernadino suspects departed from is currently being searched. This hose was found with the help of eyewitness accounts, because the recognized the suspect. Police showed up soon afterwards, and this resulted in a car chase as the two suspects departed the Redlands area. Twenty police officers pursued the two suspects, and a shootout resulted in the death of the two suspects.
Only one of the 20 officers were injured, with injuries that are not life-threatening.
This event has lead to greater discussions of making gun control laws stronger on the national level. Pres. Barack Obama told CBS News, “We don’t yet know what the motives of the shooters are, but what we do know is that there are steps we can take to make Americans safer.” He also said that the pattern of U.S. mass shootings “has no parallel anywhere else in the world.”
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada), tweeted this morning, “We’re going to force the senate to vote today on amendments to stop gun violence.”
However, some students acknowledge that it probably won’t be that simple.
Amanda Davis, a senior Theatre major from Munhall, says, “It should be more difficult to get a gun. I don’t think banning is possible; people already have guns.”
The following SIREN reporters contributed to this story: Emmett Kasper, Andi Nickel, Payton Cianfarano, Owen Kreitzburg, Kira Talbott, Haley Thellman, Mallory Doban, Laura Swogger, Haley Ohlund, Sarah Bett, Abigail Kremm, Sara Hamilton, Ian McKinzie and Ariana Winkle.