Update on San Bernardino Shooting

By Taiye Ojomo

A mass shooting in San Bernardino Wednesday left 14 dead, and more than 20 wounded. The incident is the deadliest shooting in the United States since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut in 2012.

“This is incredibly tragic, and we have a lot of families that are clearly devastated by what happened here,” San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said at a press conference.

The shooting occurred during a holiday party at the Inland Regional Center at around 11a.m. on Wednesday. Authorities say the suspects, identified as 28-year-old Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tasheen Malik, 27, fired between 65–75 rounds of shots before fleeing the scene in a black SUV. The two suspects were killed in a shootout with police after a car chase. During the raid that followed at the couple’s home, police also found pipe-bombs and a remote detonator.

While the motive behind the attack is still unknown, police believe the couple had been in touch with some contacts who the FBI have been investigating in connection to alleged international terrorist-related activities.

Farook is an environmental health specialist for San Bernardino County and has worked there for five years. He and his wife have a 6-month-year old girl who they left with her grandmother early Wednesday, prior to the shooting. She told police she became concerned when she first heard of the shooting at Farook’s job, but she was unable to reach him.

“These were people that came be prepared,” said Burguan. “There had to be some degree of planning that went into this.”

According to the Mass Shooting Tracker, this year alone has seen over 350 shootings across the United States, with an average of about 2 incidents each month. The Washington Post reported yesterday’s shooting in San Bernardino as the 355th shooting in the U.S. this year, with 18 of them occurring in California. These numbers have increased since last year, when 336 mass shootings occurred nationwide. Many studies on mass shootings in the U.S. have shown that a majority of these mass shootings involved guns that suspects obtained legally.

Since the shooting, new questions and speculation regarding California’s current gun laws have surfaced. Though California is said to have some of the strictest gun control laws in the country, some are wondering if more must be done. Senator Minority Leader Harry Reid tweeted, “Gun violence has become a cancer on this nation. We must make common sense gun reforms that keep weapons out of dangerous hands.”

The current California gun laws require all gun sales to be processed through a licensed dealer and a background check be completed. Individuals must also pass a written test to obtain a Firearm Safety Certificate before they are permitted to purchase a gun. However, the law prohibits the sale of most assault weapons and.5o caliber rifles and also prohibits the transfer of large capacity ammunition.