From the Editor: Another Cry for Improved Gun Control Legislation

On the morning of Wednesday Dec. 2, 2015, two gunmen open fired on the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California at a holiday staff party. Since the Sandy Hook shooting three years ago, this mass shooting has been the deadliest in the United States with a total of 14 people killed and 17 injured. The gunmen were identified to be Syed Farook, who worked for the San Bernardino County health department for five years, and his wife Tashfeen Malik. After the shooting, the suspects underwent a police chase and a shootout that ended in their deaths.

Farook had been present at the party but was reported to have angrily left at some point. He later returned with Malik dressed in "tactical gear and carrying .223-caliber assault-style rifles, semiautomatic handguns and explosive devices, police say" (Domonoske). The weapons used in the shooting were legally purchased. The suspects escaped the building and police were then in pursuit of locating them. Eye witnesses at the shooting had recognized Farook even though he had worn a ski mask and pointed police towards a house at the nearby Redlands that was affiliated with him. The suspects came under fire with some 20 police officers when they drove away from the house and resulted in their deaths.      

At the Inland Regional Center after the chase and shootout, three additional explosive devices were found and later disposed of that evening. There was speculation of a third gunmen and that suspect is now in custody to be questioned. The motives of the shooters are still uncertain, but it is clear that gun control remains a major concern in this country. President Barack Obama has again called for changes to America's gun control laws as he has stated after countless mass shootings but progress has yet to be made.

Mass shootings have become a norm in this country and if gun laws continue to go unamended, the potential for similar incidents is heightened. The need for federal gun-control legislation to be passed is only growing so what is Congress waiting for one may ask?  Efforts to amend the gun control in ways such as expanded background checks for those purchasing arms "have been successfully rebuffed by the NRA [which is well-funded and well-organized] and its supporters in Congress" (DeBrabander). Local and national leaders who are committed to improving gun control legislation are needed most at this time in our nation with the common occurrences of mass shootings. The NRA claims that resisting gun-control measures defends freedom(DeBrabander), but the freedom of what exactly? The freedom for those who bear arms to attack innocent unarmed civilians? "The proliferation of campus-carry, stand your ground and 'guns everywhere' laws" endanger the general public and generate fear  rather than "the prospect of living without fear"(DeBrabander) that the NRA believes gun ownership offers. Now we question not how a mass shooting will happen but when as the need for improved gun control legislation is unmet. 

To read more about the shooting and gun control, visit [https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/10/06/obama-said-the-nation-has-been-inactive-on-gun-legislation-heres-why-hes-wrong/] or [http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/12/03/458277103/san-bernardino-shootings-what-we-know-one-day-after]. 

Emma Ceplinskas

Emma Ceplinskas, now a senior at Malden High School, is starting this year as one of the Editors and Chief of Online for the Blue and Gold newspaper. She described journalism class as “unrestricted" based on the freedom that comes with a student run paper. Ceplinskas is also excited about this year due to being an editor gaining “more control over what goes on the website.” She finds herself interested in chemistry and writing, but is unsure of what she wants to study after high school because “you never know where you are going to end up based on the opportunities that come,” Ceplinskas stated.

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