Perhaps you have heard the news yesterday that the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) was under lock-down for the entire morning, due to reports of gunfire on campus. As of late yet, here are the facts:
- The incident occurred just a few minutes before 10 am on Wednesday, June 1st near Boelter Hall and the Engineering IV building on South campus (known for housing many of the math and sciences departments).
- Gunshots were fired, and shortly thereafter police arrived, urging those in Boelter Hall to evacuate. The whole school is put on lock-down.
- Two are reported killed: one Engineering professor and one of his students, in one of the Engineering offices.
- A suicide note is found; the shooter is later identified as the Engineering student.
- The whole campus is on complete lock-down until noon, after the local police says the coast is clear.
Throughout the afternoon, more information was gathered on the suspect and the victim: it turned out to be a murder-suicide; apparently, the student was resentful of his professor who supposedly denied his Ph. D dissertation multiple times, which angered him enough to shoot and kill his superior before turning the gun on himself. Unbelievable, isn’t it?
Now, this news about a shooting on school campus isn’t anything new in the media nowadays: it seems like every week we hear something about a lunatic wrecking havoc on innocent students, leading to tragic deaths in America. Same old, same old, right?
True. But that way of thinking, of accepting that such news are commonplace in the United States, is even more horrifying than the events themselves. Thinking that way does absolutely nothing to prevent other possible shootings from happening, nor does it help raise the issue of having gun control in the nation. I find it incredibly ridiculous that, despite the numerous shootings happening all over the country (and being heavily broadcast on television/social media), there’s nothing that has been done to regulate gun usage and whatnot. To avoid going off on a tangent about the real need to have gun control in the United States, you can just read my thoughts on that in this post: Gun Control in the United States.
With the amount of school shootings happening these days, especially in other schools close to home, or which my close friends go to (e.g. UC Santa Barbara in 2014, UC Merced in 2015), it’s really distressing to hear about them on the news. What makes this one at UCLA even more upsetting is the fact that, well, my university. It’s my alma mater, and I have friends and loved ones who go there, too. For heaven’s sake, my sister goes to UCLA, and was in class when the shooting happened. The school was on complete lock-down, and for two, intense hours, she had to hide in the classroom, not knowing when things would be safe enough to come out. Even crazier was that, during the whole ordeal, lots of misinformation were being spread throughout text messages, news, and social media. Things such as multiple gunmen all over the four corners of campus did nothing to assuage fear, and even though I was at home and far away from the action, I was terrified: what were to happen if my sister were to be targeted, let alone close friends??
I am upset for many reasons, on how (1) this event hit so close to home, (2) it happened at such an inopportune time when it’s nearing the end of the school year, with Finals and graduation around the corner (then again, it should never happen at all!), (3) people are dismissing this incident as just “another school shooting” or a petty stand-off between a professor and his resentful student, and (4) gun control laws continue to be non-existent despite the number of similar events nation-wide.
Despite all of the negative energy around this tragic event, I can say that I am relieved that it is over, and that my friends, my sister, and loved ones are all safe. That, in the end, is more important than anything else. ❤
Thank you for reading, and I wish you all a good day. Stay safe!
— The Finicky Cynic
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