Thursday, November 20, 2014

Florida State University Gunman Wounds 3, Then Is Killed by Police

Shortly after midnight on Thursday in Florida State's Strozier Library in Tallahassee Florida a man entered and opened fired on the students. The students rapidly headed for safety by going to the second floor, finding cover or by leaving the library all together. "I ran for my life...I ran right out the backdoor" said freshman Allison Kope. Three students were shot, and were admitted at Tallahassee MeidcalCare and are being treated for gunshot wounds. Florida State, along with many other universities in the country, has a campus wide alert system for situations just like this one which was quickly sounded. Police arrived on the scene, shortly after exchanging fire with the gunman. Killing the gunman, the campus was declared "all clear" by police a few hours later. 

This seems to be another chapter in the continuous saga of mass shootings. According to ABC News there have been 160 mass shootings from 2000-2013, the most frightening fact is that most of these shootings occur at schools. While the number of shootings per year are increasing, with no action being done by our government to address this horrendous problem. 

Should Congress pass bans or restrictions on guns in an effort to limit these type of shootings?
Would having armed guards at schools work as a deterrent to shootings?


Alex Li said...

Congress should implement stricter laws relating to gun control because there has simply been too much bloodshed to due how easy it is for criminals or others with evil intent to obtain a weapon. The opposition may argue that criminals and psychopaths will obtain weapons at all costs necessary despite laws barring them from doing so, but stricter laws will at least make it significantly more difficult. Armed Guards should not start showing up to protect schools because that is basically like the US government admitting that their college campuses are dangerous, and it obviously having armed guards standing around campus does not help with the college atmosphere.

Andros Petrakis said...

Having researched extensively in the topic of gun control for last year’s debate, I truly do believe that more gun control won’t accomplish anything. criminals don't follow the laws anyways (they’re CRIMINALS), so congress passing more gun control will only bar law abiding citizens from practicing their second amendment rights; criminals will still find ways to access their favorite lead spraying machines. That being said, the only real factor that almost all of these cases have in common (Newtown, aurora, and this case to name a few) is that the shooter in question is mentally ill. Regarding this most recent shooting at FSU, Myron May, the gunman, told authorities that he thought he was “hearing voices” and “being watched”, and had fears that “government agencies were targeting him” (Reuters). Along with aurora’s James Eagan Holmes and Newtown's Adam Lanza, the reason for these shootings isn’t the access to guns, it’s the terribly poor system that aids, or should be aiding, those with mental health issues. Banning guns won't stop school shootings, just as the ban on marijuana and other drugs hasn't stopped their use. Let’s face it; America doesn’t really have its borders on lock down. Every day, countless amounts of drugs, people and other things get smuggled into America, and the US borders are just too big to patrol. Also, with the banning of guns, we would be eliminating an extremely large taxable business and handing it to illegal criminal smuggling rings, which certainly also doesn’t aid the American people

ElizabethZhou7 said...

When most people hear about school shootings, they automatically think it is due to a lack of gun control laws in our country, when really that is not the problem at all. No matter how many new laws Congress passes in controlling the use of guns, school and other types of shootings will continue to happen. What Congress should be focusing on instead is the reason WHY people choose to commit these crimes. It is not just because they have access to guns and weapons that they decide to kill people, but rather there is something wrong with them and acts of violence are their way of seeking attention. Like what Andros pointed out, the shooters involved in these cases are mainly those who are mentally ill. If our government truly wants to prevent future shootings, they should invest in establishing systems that help detect the early signs of mental illnesses in people and provide the resources to help them recover. Having these facilities at schools will be the first step towards ensuring the safety of the public in these learning environments, and will be more effective than the government restricting the use of guns or appointing armed guards at schools.

Alex Medwid said...

Restricting gun rights will do little to stop this trend. People point to other countries which have banned guns and have low rates of gun violence such as Japan, but correlation is not equal to causation, and the same law applied in two countries may not have the same effect. These countries with low rates of gun violence often have better mental health aid and lower recidivism rates due to better criminal justice systems.

I would disagree with Alex's reasoning that armed guards are bad because that is admitting that campuses aren't safe because campuses are not, by definition, completely safe. If there is a security problem, it is better to deal with it than to leave it unacknowledged. One of the main reasons schools are so frequently targeted as opposed to other venues is that the victims are almost always unarmed. Some number of armed police officers on campus could keep campuses from being seen as easy targets.

Lindsay Block said...

I agree with the previous comments that talk about the severity of the issue of mental illness in the case of mass shootings. This has been a prevalent problem in recent shootings, and needs to be monitored and changed in the near future. The current arrangement doctors have with patients of mental illnesses is not up to a standard that the American people can confidently believe in. In response to deplorable conditions toward people with mental illness in the past, the public has become far to lax in caring for those in need of psychiatric care.
Banning guns will only add to illegal smuggling, which will increase the number of illegally owned guns; all this will do is add to the number of guns unable to be regulated and accounted for by the government. As Andros said, criminals are criminals because they don't follow the rules; getting a gun would not be a problem if the person wanted to do harm, just like drug use has not stopped even with increased police presence. Many, if not most, of the recent mass shootings occurred using legally owned firearms.
Law officials are constantly trying to understand and figure out the reasons people commit such horrible acts, and have specific qualifications and questions they use to classify someone as a threat. They use these questions to find people they think are likely to commit violent acts, and help to prevent such acts from occurring. Officials call this "address[ing] the gap" and equate it to heart attack prevention; "No one can say when a heart attack is going to happen; we can say when you're at risk for one" (Junod).

David Diba Six said...

I would like to agree with Andros and the everybody else that yes, banning of guns is not effective and yes, better understanding of mental health will lead to better ways of reducing the risk of people wanting to commit violent crimes, but I would like to put out a new point that hasn't been touched upon yet and it is the fact that nobody was killed in this shooting, and the reason for that was system put in place to take these kind of situations under control. perhaps the best response to this situation is for schools to continuously implement and improve systems to address emergencies such as a shooter, so that student and staff no exactly how to act and so that the authorities can isolate and deal with the problem as fast and effectively as possible. systems such as these include practice drills that direct people where to hide. In addition there is new technologies such as gunshot sensors that can triangulate the exact location of gunshots so that police can act as fast as possible. It can be these precautions put in place that can be the difference between life and death in these situations and perhaps far more effective in reducing deaths than by trying to limit things that can not be such as when a person decides to do something horrible.