San Bernardino Shooting

At the same time DHS students were finishing their fourth period classes on Wednesday, December 2, a massive shooting took place in San Bernardino, California. In the several minutes, fourteen people were killed and twenty-one more were injured.

The shootings took place at Inland Regional Center (IRC) during a holiday party and training session where, according to the LA Times, over a hundred employees of the IRC and numerous county health workers were present. Some investigators now believe that one of the shooters was originally at the party, but left, returning soon after with a companion: the other shooter. Witness to the shooting describe the shooters as wearing “black masks and tactical gear”.

Soon after the attack, the San Bernardino Police were involved in a car chase and resulting fire fight with two suspects, a man and a woman who were later identified as Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik. The two suspects were killed during the fight, and, while a third suspect was detained after the chase, no one else has been officially connected with the crime.

At the suspects’ home, a weapon’s cache was found; besides assault rifles, the police also found several thousand rounds of ammo and homemade bombs.

Right now, the motive behind the attack is unknown; David Bowdich, assistant director of the FBI’s Los Angeles field office, which is assisting the San Bernardino police with the investigation, confirmed that terrorism has not been ruled out as a motive. However, the authorities have not come to a clear consensus on the motive the attack. A workplace dispute, or a combination of a workplace dispute and terrorism, is still being investigated as a motive.

The one thing we do know is that we have a pattern now of mass shootings in this country that has no parallel anywhere else in the world.[/pullquote]

Already, the shooting at the Inland Regional Center has been named as the most deadly shooting in the United States since the Sandy Hook Shooting in 2013 (?). President Obama is currently attending a climate change conference in Paris. During an interview with CBS, President Obama expressed condolences to the families of the victims and noted that “The one thing we do know is that we have a pattern now of mass shootings in this country that has no parallel anywhere else in the world.”

If not for the large amount of people convening at the center for the holiday party, IRC would be an unusual place for a tragedy such as this to happen. One of many healthcare facilities that belong to the Association of Regional Center Agencies (ARCA), the Inland Regional Center helps people with developmental disabilities, including “autism, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, and intellectual disabilities”, according to the ARCA’s official press release.

The apparent randomness the attack has invoked images of a far deadlier attacks that took place less than a month ago in Paris, France and Beirut, Lebanon. It is also reminiscent of the October shooting earlier this year at a community college in Roseburg, Oregon.

Because the latest shooting has happened in California, it has seemed a lot closer to home.

As one DHS student junior Sarah Grier, who used to live in San Bernardino County, admitted that “It’s scarier than the other shootings because it’s different: the shooting happened near where I used to live and close to where we all live.”

English teacher Mr. Dance remarked that he’s “not sure what to think” about this last shooting because it “feels like there’s a new one every week.”

President Obama echoed this sentiment in his speech after the Oregon shootings lamenting that despite the recurring tragedies that result from each shooting “We’ve become numb to this.”

As the San Bernardino police continue to investigate the latest round of mass shootings in the U.S., the whole country will continue to be drawn into the debate over gun control. With the discovery of exorbitant amounts of ammo and guns at the shooter’s’ house, Americans cannot help but be drawn into the conversation on our second amendment right to bear arms.