Monday, April 10, 2017

San Bernardino School Shooting Leaves 3 Dead, Including Student



Two years after a terrorist attack killing 14 people, San Bernardino has been hit again with an elementary school shooting which left three people dead. The shooter was the husband of the special needs teacher at North Park Elementary School. The couple had been separated for the last month and the man had a criminal record including domestic violence, weapons possession and drug possession.  This connects to just about every past shooting in modern day America, whether it be at a school or anywhere. What it seems like to me is that the killers always slip under the radar of the authorities, even though they usually have some violent condition or past criminal record which makes them dangerous to others. This is a terrible act, especially since it seems so close to home, and it makes me think about how this could happen literally any day, anywhere, even at Aragon, which is a sad reality to live in. How do you think these killers keep slipping under the authority's radar? We've seen the elementary and middle schools around our community becoming fenced off to the surrounding neighborhood. Is this enough to protect children in school from the potential threat of shootings? This last question is a bit different. What do you think goes through the mind of a person that makes them want to commit such a horrible crime?

38 comments:

  1. No matter what way you put it, we are going to be vulnerable to these kinds of things unless we tighten up security around the school. While this might seem like an obvious procedure, some people, notably kids who like to leave the campus during lunchtime or like to hang out in the parking lot, would no longer be able to leave the school freely, and we would have to invest in more security (only one real police officer around campus), and I doubt that the administration or the student body is willing to take these steps. As for what is going on in a killers mind, who knows, I'm not even gonna pretend to understand what compels people to shoot children :)

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    1. This is a bit of an interesting school shooting as police believe that the man did not intend to shoot the child. It is likely that he only wanted to kill his wife and just accidentally shot the two children behind her as well. I suspect that when he saw that he had accidentally shot two children and killed one of them, he decided to take his own life rather than try to escape.

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    2. I feel this is a rational procedure in the name of security based on the way times are changing. For this to not be foreseen with this person's history and all seems remarkeble to me how he was allowed to carry out this horrendous act. Furthermore, the fact that he attacked children is someone contradictory since his wife devoted her time to help them. I believe this enigma is representative on how complex the security debate is regarding schools. However, I believe more security, especially around elementary schools is in order as being safe is always better than being sorry.

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  2. I agree with Daniel, the only way we are going to ensure the complete safety of the student body is to up the security. It might be a expensive, and difficult, to achieve such a thing but, having an armed cop on campus, putting a higher fence around the school, like what was done at Borel Middle school, are all things that do increase the amount of safety present at an educational facility. The fences have done an excellent job of keeping students in and predators out; rarely is there a case of a strange man coming onto campus, at least around here, these days (hope it stays that way). I do not know, and would not want to know, what goes on in the mind of such a terrible killer.

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  3. I don't think we could ever be fully prepared and safe enough to prevent any tragic and dangerous events such as this one. However, I definitely agree with Daniel that we have to do what we can in advance and take extra precautions such as tightening up the security or increasing the number of officers around campus. I think the fencing, although it makes schools seem like jails, is a positive step towards this. Also I think it is important that schools keep practicing and preparing by doing drills so that when these situations do occur, we could protect as many kids as possible. And as for the second question, I think people's thoughts are so different and unpredictable that I can't really say. I'm pretty sure there are a wide variety of motives for a person committing such horrible crimes... maybe insanity, revenge, etc

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  4. I disagree that fences will be effective in keeping our campus safe. I think they serve more as a deterrent for strangers coming on campus, rather than as a barrier. The shooter killed his own wife, a teacher at the school. I don't know how many parents come on campus each day, but it seems like here, the threat was from inside, not outside. That is something a fence cannot block out. I think people who commit such crimes want to make their mark. Sometimes they feel insignificant and want to make themselves heard. Many of us secretly want attention, we just go about it in different ways... usually on a smaller and more positive scale.

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  5. The problem is that it is difficult to identify these threats. I've personally seen large fences being placed at elementary and middle schools in the area, but I feel like its effect is more psychological compared to the actual benefits to prevent the type of incident that happened in San Bernardino. If someone really wanted to enter the school with a weapon, then they'd be able to. Even if we add fences, there has to be a time when they are unlocked, and someone could always climb over it (or use a ladder). The only way to prevent this is to have airport-level security (or something close), but of course, that is not feasible. In our current situation, if an adult drives on to campus, how can one identify whether they are someone who is a threat to our safety, or whether they are just parent here to pick up their child?

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  6. I feel the best way to counter these kind of threats is to increase the accesisbility of mental health services, and create policy designed to make sure people who are at risk to commit such kinds of violent acts do not fall through the cracks. I agree with the others that fences are not going to be effective against someone intending harm. A lot of these people would not be dangerous if they had acess to proper medical treatment. The stigma surrounding mental illness, and the lack of proper facilities in many places leads to inadaquete care. Most of the time this only hurts the people directly effected by mental illness, but in some cases it can expand-like it did in this case. We are better off treating the cause of these disasters rather than just the symptoms. That said there should still be reasonable protection at schools-solid doors and windows, and drills to instruct students and teachers what to do in case of an emergency.

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  7. I agree with Avichal and Tori that upping security surrounding the schools would be mostly ineffective (and too expensive) because no matter what, hundreds of people move in and out of a school everyday. Even students could be holding weapons in their backpacks and lockers and no one would know. I think that instead of focusing on increasing the security of schools, we should be considering increasing the security around who can access the weapons that threaten the students in the first place.

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  8. I am a little surprised that no one here has suggested that if this man had a criminal record and possibly mental health problems, he should not have been able to acquire a gun, maybe rather than increasing the number of people with guns at schools, we could decrease accessibility of guns to people who pose a risk to public safety.

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    1. I totally agree with you, Will. There is a serious problem with our gun laws in the US, and even in California. There is no way that this man should've been able to acquire a gun in the first place. It's frustrating to see how this happens with many shootings. What I don't understand is how the sellers of these weapons could sell them illegally even if they get paid a load of cash. For anyone to buy weapons illegally it seems pretty sketchy why they would want the weapon and why they couldn't buy one legally.

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  9. I think that under the Trump administration, what would be interesting to observe is how situations like these are to be handled. Under Obama, there were many countless shootings. We should try to see if any reforms were to be made, because this is a reoccurring problem that America is used to (sadly). I believe that incidences like these in America are never going to stop. We are too afraid to assess the situation and act upon it (i.e. gun control laws).

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  10. The reason the killers keep slipping under the radar is because our methods aren't good enough. And by methods, I mean methods such as surveillance and examining personal information and records. However, with that comes the argument of safety vs. freedom. On a country mostly built on freedom, I think we can come to a safe balance between the two. I do not wish to live in a country where everything is constantly watched and examined. And the fence question..? Not sure if it is a rhetorical question or not, but a couple fences won't keep out school shooters. I am guessing that a fence poses no challenge to a determined school shooter, or to anyone for that matter. I know so, actually. Hatred goes through the school shooters mind I imagine. Or for the mentally ill I am not sure.

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  11. I agree with Kevin, authorities do not keep track of the people who can do the most damage, and that later affects everyone around them. Shooters can always come the people you least expect it from, but we should do a better job of anticipating.

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  12. I believe that in order to prevent incidents like this, we need a more comprehensive system to do background checks on people before they are allowed to obtain guns. I agree with Will that this man should not have been allowed to obtain a gun, due to his history in weapon and drug possession and domestic abuse. I don't think fences around schools really make much of a difference, as they seem to be more of a deterrent than legitimate prevention to intruders.

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  13. The fences around the middle and elementary schools would not prevent a determined shooter. If the state really wanted to stop potential threats then they would have to begin to anticipate the problems they arise. In addition, this man was known to have a violent criminal record and should not have been allowed the right to possess a destructive weapon. However, the state might have taken away his registered gun, but they cannot fully limit his access to family or friends weapons as he could simply take their gun.

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  14. I think fences are helpful, but like many people mentioned, the real issue here lies with how easily people, especially those with a criminal history or mental illness, can access or buy a gun. Of course, this opens up a new topic of discussion, but when we analyze similar cases, we find that these issues could have been avoided had stricter federal gun control laws been in place. Also, like Sam said, I think there needs to be a bigger push for accessible mental health services, even to people that have a criminal record. Though it seems a little idealistic, I also think its important that prisons and courts mandate these kinds of programs, because I think it's worth it to invest in such programs that help instead of hurt people that will eventually return and become a part of society.

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  15. Answering the last question, I have read articles about past shooters (Aurora and Columbine shootings in particular) and they have stated that most of the shooters were "outsiders" and "antisocial" so I feel like emotionally, the shooters felt alone and empty. Whether they were facing problems at home or at school, I feel like the shooter wanted to feel something while having others struggle the way they had struggled. With this particular shooting since the shooter was associated with an administrator, he most likely wanted to illustrate his internal pain by hurting others. Although this is not the right way to convey one's internal feelings, I feel like it is important to try to get a better understanding of the perpetrator to prevent incidents like this.

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  16. I think these killers are easily slipping under the radar because this country allows a high amount of freedom. Although fences are better than nothing, I don't think that they are much help. If someone wants to cause a shooting, they could easily get through the fence. I think that the only way is to get better security and keep track of who gets in and out of the campus. I think that someone who wants to commit such a horrible crime must suffer from some kind of mental disorder.

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  17. I don't think that we can ever be prepared and safe enough to prevent any tragic and dangerous events such as this one. If we wanted to keep schools safe, then we would need to add a security gate where there is a security guard outside and not let anyone in without doing a weapons check on them. That's the only way in my opinion that we can keep schools safe. Or we have more patrol around school

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  18. I also agree that the only way to deal with these types of issues is to increase gun control. Putting fences around a school will do very little to a person who is on a mission with a gun. I know gun control is an extremely controversial topic as a majority of people who own guns do not misuse them. However, stricter gun control laws will merely keep guns out of the hands of those who shouldn't have them. Putting fences up will not stop shootings, but taking away the guns of those who are committing these crimes hopefully will.

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  19. All sorts of criminals can slip by any force of law if they slip into the illusion of normalcy. If they are able to blend into a crowd put on a friendly face no one would find them suspicious. We allow many peoples their own rights and even with there being restrictions a cop can't catch every little crime, they are just clearly out numbered and people have made notes around them. A fence, one cop multiple cops nothing can truly stop any kind of attack if there is no clues or hint of it. The amount of security would be overwhelming making it almost oppressive to those even inside only the reaction of the law enforcement's can be bettered and maybe knowing the basic profiles of the bare community. With someone wanting to commit this crime or any crime its different in every case some its because of mental disorders sometimes its because they them self are unconscious of their actions. But there gets a point in many peoples lives where they take a look around they see the faces of those around them and are filled with uncontrollable emotions in which they don't know what to do. Sometimes if something is taken from them they want to take revenge on making the people feel the way they do to take something important from them. Other times they are seeking attention they want to be noticed they want people to pay attention to them maybe after being neglected or such. All cases vary because all are their own individuals and everyone has their own motive for every action they take.

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  20. I don't understand how one could discern who is or isn't a school shooter unless background checks were done on them when purchasing a gun. I think fences are highly ineffective considering many schools have multiple entrances, as well as classrooms located on the outside of the school such as Borel. I would assume a school shooter has a goal in shooting up a school apart from possible enjoyment. Therefore, even if every possible entrance is fenced up, I think that a shooter would think of a plan of action. I would think that a shooter wants to create as much harm as possible.

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  21. Fences don't help when the front gate is wide open for anyone to go through when school starts and ends. They don't prevent the guns hidden in backpacks and bags as students walk to first period. Tightening the security will help, but like what Tori and Avichal said, it's just not feasible. Instead of waiting for disasters to come and then reacting to it when the damage has been done, we should take preemptive actions that prevent disasters from even coming into existence. That can be done with stricter gun control laws with more background checks and harder accessibility to guns in general.

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  22. I don't think that Aragon is as easy to get in as the elementary school in San Bernadino, especially when we have police or guards consistently patrolling around our campus. Like what many others have said, it is extremely difficult for the authorities to identify who's a threat and who's not. However, I do believe topping up the security level will help in the future. Most schools require people who are coming to our campus wear a visitor's badge. If they had more people walking around the campus, it would be easier to distinguish between random strangers and people who received permission to come. However, it is still very hard to prevent shootings like this.

    Always heartbreaking to see these types of news around.

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  23. It's difficult to suspect someone because often, they do not look like they are suspicious. If someone doesn't have the reason to be suspected, people won't suspect them. (does that make sense?) Also, people sometimes have mental disorders, or they just want revenge. If they are angry, there is more reason to attack. It is difficult to point fingers at a certain reason, because everyone is different.

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  24. I think Will brought up (or maybe someone previously, sorry) the question of how the man was able to acquire a gun with a criminal record from domestic violence, drug possession, and weapon possession and, perhaps, a mental illness. I don't know if the gun belonged to him, but it's a possibility he could have stolen it from someone else, in which case I think that gun owners should be forced to better manage their weapons.

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  25. Killers like these manage to slip through authorities' radars because restrictions on guns are simply not tight enough. Many make the argument that gun control restricts rights and whatnot, but imposing tests on gun owners to evaluate their mental capacity and their overall competence in gun ownership would greatly reduce the amount of incidents that occur. Additionally, it is absolutely absurd to see that someone with a criminal record could obtain a gun, which only strengthens the argument for tighter gun control. Schools themselves may also take action to guard against incidents like these, but ultimately, the threat cannot be so easily eliminated with fences and walls. It makes much more sense to keep killers from getting guns in the first place, than to restrict students to protect them.

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  26. I agree with the comments above suggesting that the only reason killers keep on slipping under the authority’s radar is because of the system used is simply useless and weak. Even though fences actually do help on preventing tragedies such as this, I believe it is not enough and we need to make our schools even more safer. It is very hard to understand what goes through the mind of a murderer, I mean murders happen due to a variety of reasons and trying to come up with only one reason why killers kill is simply impossible. During Obama’s presidency there were several acts of terror in our country and his administration did well on coming up with different reforms, hopefully Trump will become aware of this issue too and tried to put an end to it.

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  27. It's really hard to tell what goes through the mind of a shooter before and during these attacks but clearly their minds do not think the same way as a regular person in the heat of the moment. Anyone with the capacity to evaluate their actions before committing an atrocity, would not do so. So the real issue in the United States is to find mental health care for people at risk of committing these crimes instead of stigmatizing their conditions.

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  29. Having a past of domestic violence and drug abuse, it's no surprise that the mindset of the shooter was so warped that they would commit an act like that. Love makes people do crazy things, thus tainted love makes people do tainted things. Not that it's right or justified in any way though, because I don't condone this in any way. Hurting and murdering innocent children is just brutal and ridiculous. Children that the shooter didn't even know, and still their lives and futures were stolen that easily. The government should enforce a tighter law on security to prevent this from happening again, although it probably will just because the sheer number of people that may possibly go crazy.

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  30. I agree with those that note that increasing security unfortunately does not seem like a feasible method towards complete prevention of these tragedies. I think that someone with the intent to kill will find a way, as harsh as that may sound. For me, I believe the best way to minimize mass shootings is to implement restrictions on one's ability to obtain a gun (!!) just like others have mentioned. In terms of what is going through a person's mind when committing a crime, it's very hard to say. You could attest it to either blind rage, or revenge, or a psychological disorder- it's hard to say; basically, it might be harmful to try and determine ourselves why someone might be driven to such measures because that could lead to false accusations or interpretations, and we don't know how much of it was driven by situation or by self. Either way, the terrible outcome is still the same, and the preventative measures I see as best fit are stricter gun laws.

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  31. This is a horrible incident for the city of San Bernadino and also for our nation in general. Its events like this that destroy and tear our country apart. It is a difficult issue to keep under control, however some solutions may be by creating greater secured environments with either fences, gates, or on campus officers. I feel that those who commit these inhumane crimes must be suffering from a powerful mental illness of some sort. No mentally stabled person should ever be capable of doing such harm, therefore those killers must be extremely, psychologically distraught.

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  32. killers, slip under the radar because they look like anyone. It's not like they have any certain qualities that make them look any different. it would be easy for them to slip by authorities simply because they can lie to them, and because police can't legally search you. I doubt the fencing will help those schools much, what they should be doing is having more police at schools and or making it harder for visitors to get into the school. also I think that killers are able to do what they do because, in their mind, they think they are doing what is best for the world. we will never be able to understand that, which is why we deem them as insane.

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  33. Like Hannah said, the killer will always find a way to commit the crime. They killers are able to slip under the radar because of how easy it is to get a weapon and that they look just like anyone else. You do not know who could be a threat now a days. It's something very scary to think about and it's terrible to see another school shooting.

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  34. I don't believe that fences will prevent a killer with a motive and desire to commit this crime; they will ind a way around it. However, I do believe they slip under the radar with guns due to a lack of harsher gun control laws that require more extensive checks into individuals' backgrounds as well as a more complex set of requirements before acquiring a firearm. As for what runs through their mind...I really don't know. I find it very difficult to put myself in the shoes of someone who would do that because it serves no point.

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