Desensitized But Ready For Change

Kelly Langevin, assistant news editor


Everything came to a halt when a man opened fire at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, California last Wednesday. As news of the mass shooting circulated around Central Connecticut’s campus, students were ready to ask what kind of statistic this tragedy will become.

The gunman identified as 28-year-old former Marine Ian David Long killed 12 people and committed suicide. His body was found inside the bar when police were able to enter the building, according to CNN.

The shooter had previous run-ins with the law. In April, officers responded to a call at his home where they reported he was irate and acting irrationally, Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean told reporters.

Although the mass shooting may not have shocked Central students, many agree gun control laws are needed to change the country.

“I would love to see a universal gun permit instead of having it state by state. Fewer people would be arrested for silly crimes of not being registered in a state,” former SGA Senator Victor Constanza said.

Looking deeper into Connecticut, Central Senator Amanda King feels the state’s gun laws are strict, but still need improvement within the state and countrywide.

“To my understanding, Connecticut does have some of the strictest gun laws out of all states in the United States, but I do hope to see some stricter national reform. Guns and weapons should have restrictions like regularly updating registration and background checks on the owners,” King said.

“We have to look at the many factors that feed into gun violence in America, including access to weapons, especially through gun show loopholes, desensitizing violence in media systems and ideas of oppression, and lack of reform of people with history of domestic violence and hate crimes,” King went on.

The shooter was in the Marine Corps and was on active duty from August 2008 to March 2013, according to Defense Department records.

He also lived with his mother, but friends had no idea what the shooter was like behind closed doors. Though friends described the shooter as a “stable man,” a neighbor told CNN that his mother “lived in fear.”

Another aspect of mass shootings that need to be focused on is mental health, according to Central students.

“I would love to see more legislation on mental health checks and wait times on background checks. Especially when we have Attorney General-Elect William Tong, who pushed for a bunch of progressive gun laws, I can see him suing organizations like the NRA and Trump on gun laws that put our people in danger,” Constanza said.