On Wednesday morning, two heavily armed suspects walked into a work holiday party and killed 14 innocent people as well as injuring 21 more people, including two police officers. The suspects were a married couple, Syed Rizwan Farook (28) and his wife Tashfeen Malik (27). Farook was born in the United States, while Malik was born in Saudia Arabia and came to the United States after marrying Farook. After the mass shooting that left 14 dead and dozens injured, the couple was involved in a police chase that ended in a shootout which left Farook and Malik dead. Well first and foremost, I want to take this time to send my condolences, thoughts and prayers to all of the victims, their families, and friends that lost their lives in the terrible tragedy in San Bernadino California less than two days ago.
Before I get into the main objective of this piece, I need to get a few things off of my chest. During the past few years, I have been a huge detractor of President Obama and his reign as the President of the United States. But now is not the time to bash the president due to our disagreements with his actions or lack there of. Whether or not we agree that the president has not done enough to solidify public safety in this country on our own soil as well as internationally, no one in good conscience can claim that these mass shootings will not continue even when Obama is out of office. The gun control/gun debate in this country is such a radical issue that has so many people on the far left as well as others on the far right. I firmly believe that today all Americans need to come together and look at this problem from the middle ground. No one...and I repeat NO ONE...is saying to ban guns in America, and even if this did happen, guns would still remain apart of this culture just as much as entertainment. Guns are not going away. But Damnit...how the hell can people on no fly orders walk into shops and purchase guns legally. How can people on the Counter Terrorism radar purchase weapons. Then there are people that have mental health issues that clearly have no business purchasing a gun and they do anyway. Something must be done to make it harder for people that are a threat to get their hands on guns.
Whether or not this act is found to be a matter of "workplace violence", some form of terrorism, or a combination of both should not be the focus here. Even in breaking news, it was found that there is a connection between the female shooter (Malik) and ISIS. Although it is not a direct connection, it has been reported that right before the attacks, Malik posted a pledge of allegiance to the Leader of ISIS on Facebook.So on the surface this has all of the signs of some type of international terrorism, whether its found to be directly ordered by the group ISIS, or just inspired by ISIS. This is an argument that will only be solved in due time. However; the focus today should be that America has a disturbing issue of mass shootings that continue to get worse and have grown to dangerous levels. Not literally, it seems like there is another mass shooting in America every day now. In retrospect, these recent attackers had tactical weapons, bullet proof vests, long guns, pipe bombs, handguns, remote controlled (IED's) and they were working together as a unit. So today, we must get to the bottom of why guns are so easy to purchase and how these mass shootings continue to be the norm, and it seems that no one has any answers. The why is that there are too many radical right wing opinions that fail to see the seriousness of this issue.
This latest act that is reportedly considered an ISIS inspired attack as well as a hybrid only makes the gun debate all the more serious. Out of all of the mass shootings that occur in the United States, no matter if it's found to be self radicalized terrorism, international terrorism, domestic terrorism, mental illness, or just someone that went off the deep end; the similarity and problem with ALL OF THEM is the easiness and readability of the perpetrators to gain access to not only guns, but also the ammunition and even one step further...IEDs (Bombs) that can be made in your mother's kitchen. We are not talking about banning a few rifles and a few boxes of 30.06 shells folks. This is a far more reaching problem and a testament to the real problem that America faces.
In case you have not saw the facts, these recent killers had an extreme amount of weaponry, ammunition, and bombs. Ok, first we will look at the actual shooting. The killers shot off approximately 80 rounds of ammo at the holiday party venue. Then during the police shootout, the perpetrators fired off more than 80 rounds of .223 caliber ammo as well as over 45 rounds of 9MM shells. Thirdly, when the police searched the killers vehicle, they found 1400 .223 rounds and 240 9mm rounds. Finally, when they went to the house, agents found another 2000 9mm rounds, over 2500 .223 rounds, 200 Long Rifle Shells,12 Pipe Bombs, and well over 100 tools and other bomb making materials. Ok...so all in all, that was thats over 6,000 rounds of ammo, 13 Bombs (including the 1 found at the crime scene), and the bomb making materials. So, please tell me what business anyone other than law enforcement or military would have to own that much ammunition? You can not argue that this absurd. These killers had enough ammunition to destroy an entire city and army.
I myself am a hunter as well as a gun owner. On average, I may purchase 2-3 Boxes of shells per year for sighting in my rifle and the hunting season. In essence, thats 60 rounds of ammo. These cold blooded killers had over 6,000 rounds. You cannot tell me that we do not have a problem here folks. This is unacceptable and out of control. According to statistics, there are actually less murders today than in the 1970's. However; the shooting in San Bernardino, California was already the 355th mass shooting in 2015, which comes out to an average of more than one per day! (Ouch!) In those 355 shootings, 462 People have lost their lives. Just for perspective, last year there were 281 mass shootings (4 or more people killed/injured/both). These statistics are mind boggling. These mass shooting numbers have continued to rise at an alarming rate every year and this has to be addressed now. The government cannot wait until ten years later after the next 2,000 shootings have occurred. Also, if this latest incident has not raised awareness about the gun control issue in this country, it also raises awareness of the new danger of these so called "lone wolf" group inspired terrorists.
With all of the social media and easiness for propaganda due to technology, now not only do we have to police ourselves against terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda and ISIS, but now we need to also investigate the notion of these political sympathizers that become radicalized right inside our own boundaries. The latest terrorist act, (I know it has not been officially ruled so), but its so obvious, shows how easy it is for terrorist groups to strike fear and wreak havoc on our soil even when not supplying the actual order itself. The news has become so depressing as everyday something horrible comes to pass. Just this morning, a teenager shot a State Police Officer in the head and is on the loose. So, the issue at hand is one that will require drastic measures and may go against the so called "political correctness" ideology that our government preaches. This government needs to step up and if not we as society need to force their hand by any means possible. Stay tuned to more reports and opinions as this ongoing investigation continues.
WRITTEN BY JASON VOORHEES for PHILLY ROCK RADIO. 12/4/15