Rising Gun Violence in California


Carlos Recinos, Author

Less than one week since the Santa Clarita School shooting, which claimed the lives of two students, as well as the shooter’s and wounded three others, another shooting was reported in San Diego. A man killed his wife and three children and then turned the gun on himself. Then we had the shooting in Fresno, California. This shooting occurred at a football party when gunmen sneaked into the backyard and opened fire onto partygoers. California experienced brutal shootings in less than one week. 

There have been more mass shootings than days in the year. Three hundred sixty-nine mass shootings have been recorded this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive (GVA). Twenty-eight of those mass shootings were mass murders. The GVA classifies a mass shooting as any incident where four or more people are shot. 2016 had the most recorded mass shootings, according to the GVA, with 382 shootings. 

California has some of the strictest gun laws in the United States. It is one of the five states in the U.S. that prohibits open carry. Open Carry is the practice of openly carrying a firearm on one’s person in public. Here is a list of some California gun laws; Anyone moving to California must register their handguns within 60 days. This was modified to include the recording of long gun sales and serial numbers in 2014. All long guns must now be registered. You now need a test and safety certificate for long gun purchases. In 2019, A law was enacted that now requires persons to be at least 21 years old to purchase any firearm- handgun, long gun, and shotguns. 

Mass Shootings are no longer a rare occurrence in this day and age. Being prepared at all times increases your chance of survival if a mass shooting was to occur. When you enter a public place, make sure to take note of any emergency exits or stairwells being aware of these can save your life. 

There are also three different stages of dealing with a mass shooting. The First step is Run and Escape, if possible. That means getting away from the shooter is a top priority, and heading to your nearest available exit. The second step is to hide, getting out of the shooter’s view/ staying quiet, your hiding spot should be able to protect from shots if shots are fired in your direction. The last resort is to fight. Commit to your actions and act as aggressively as possible against the shooter. Make use of makeshift weapons like chairs, fire extinguishers, scissors, books, etc. 

After the incident has occurred, make sure to keep your hands visible and empty so that law enforcement does not get confused. Follow the orders that the law enforcement officers are giving you.