California shootings get at big picture

Published 12:00 pm Thursday, December 3, 2015

There are more questions than answers today following a mass shooting Wednesday in Southern California, the most recent in a string of gun violence in the United States.

Not much is known about the suspects or their motives, but we do know they used assault rifles to murder 14 people and injure 17 more in San Bernadino, California.

Officials have not ruled out terrorism or an act of work-place violence since one of the shooters was an employee of the county where the shooting took place.

Email newsletter signup

Both suspects were killed in a gun battle with police following the mass shooting at the Inland Regional Center where a county Christmas party was taking place when the two shooters came into the building and began firing automatic weapons. Details from law enforcement, specifically state the shooters were wearing tactical-style clothing that was “loaded with magazines for a gunfight.”

This did not seem to be a spontaneous shooting, but rather a planned attack.

The Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are both involved in the investigation to determine a motive.

San Bernardino Mayor Carey Davis was quoted in the media saying it is still an active investigation. He also said new gun control measures are not the answer to all of these mass shootings that have surfaced this year.

“It’s not the gun that kills,” the mayor said. “It’s the shooter that kills.”

Whether or not it is determined in the coming days that this was a terrorist attack, there is no denying it was an act of domestic terrorism and our nation has reached a new level of fear.

This was not an attack on a major metropolitan area like New York City or Boston or a major sporting event, but rather a suburb of Los Angeles and considered what many describe as a “soft target.”

This could happen in “Anywhere, America” and all of us must be diligent and more aware of our surroundings. While we hope our law enforcement can prevent such attacks and protect the public from similar assaults, it is ultimately up to us to keep each other safe by being more aware of what is happening around us and report to officials any suspicions we may have.

We agree with Davis. At this point the issue is beyond gun control. It’s changing a culture that thinks gun violence an option.