School Shootings on The Rise
—— I spent the past few weeks in Los Angeles, where I was offered a unique look into local news while interning at the City Council. ——
On June 1st, Mainak Sarkar shot his former UCLA professor and himself in an engineering building on campus, prompting a school-wide lockdown and an immediate response from both local and federal law enforcement.
On June 2nd, we observed National Gun Violence Awareness Day. On that same morning, Sarkar’s second shooting victim was found in a Minneapolis suburb.
I happened to be in the Los Angeles City Hall at a council meeting on June 1st, when we were interrupted by news of the shooting. Coincidentally, we were hearing a presentation in preparation for National Gun Violence Awareness Day. One of the women presenting took a moment to point out that this is the second time she’s been in city hall when news of a shooting broke out (and it’s not like she goes there every day).
According to a recent Harvard study, mass public shootings have been on the rise since 2011(Harvard). Compared to other similar countries, we have more gun deaths and more mass shootings per capita. The FBI confirmed recently that there has been an increased trend in active shooter incidents from 2000 to 2013, with most incidents involving a single shooter (FBI).
In light of the UCLA shooting, which occurred in a “gun-free zone, in a gun-averse city, in a gun-allergic state,” a debate about gun control and gun safety has been reawakened. Some would argue that in this “gun-free zone,” the students and teachers would have been better served if they were allowed to carry guns because they would’ve been able to protect themselves. Others say that this incident shows the need for tighter gun purchasing restrictions.
What do you think?