Enough is Enough: Thoughts Following the Recent Thousand Oaks Shooting

I am in tears hearing that, once again, there was a mass shooting, this time in Thousand Oaks, California. It is disgusting to learn that this has been the 307th mass shooting in 2018 alone. It’s even more horrifying to think about this specific shooting because the shooting occurred at a college bar. 12 dead and many more injured and mentally scarred.

This shooting further highlights our nation’s issue dealing with guns. It was discovered that the shooter was a former marine and might’ve developed PTSD and other mental illnesses following service. A huge issue we have as a nation is a negative stigma around mental illness. The shooter allegedly wrote a Facebook post saying, “I hope people call me insane... ... wouldn't that just be a big ball of irony? Yeah. I'm insane, but the only thing you people do after these shootings is 'hopes and prayers'.. or 'keep you in my thoughts'... every time... and wonder why these keep happening”. It’s sad to say, but is he wrong? There are not enough actions being taken to stop these shootings from happening. There isn’t a doubt in my mind that people are blaming his mental state for his actions. But that’s not applicable to all cases. Not every shooter is mentally ill, sometimes that just becomes the easy-way-out conclusion for people. Sometimes it’s just pure hatred, which is just as unsettling.

Fortunately, many people during the most recent midterm elections were voted into office and are endorsed by Everytown for Gun Safety. Everytown is one of the more prominent interest groups that advocates for gun safety in our country. Candidates that have “gun sense” will hopefully push for more gun legislation to be passed nationwide, starting locally and then nationally.

I think that as a college student this should have a significant effect on you. What if this were to happen at the local bar you or your friends attend? Hey Muhlenberg students, what if this happened at Pig Pen?! This should upset you as much as it upsets me. The mass shooting and gun problem that we have in our nation have grown. We as college students and the next generation of our country need to take a stand against gun violence. We need to become even more involved in the efforts to end this epidemic. It won’t happen overnight, but with time. Our voices should be heard. Whether out of anger or out of sadness, or both, you should take action.

For more information or for how you can get involved, check the links below: