Early Monday afternoon reports of a shooting at North Park Elementary school in San Bernardino, California, reverberated across news and social media channels. As details poured in concerned what is now being treated as a murder-suicide in an elementary school classroom, people across the country asked themselves, "Is the North Park Elementary shooting related to the San Bernardino attack?" In a society in which gun violence has become a common, horrific reoccurrence, the collective minds of a concerned country can't help but think back on previous attacks and the immense loss of life so many have already been forced to endure.
According to early reports by San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan, via Twitter, two adults are deceased in a classroom, and two students have been transported to local hospitals, their conditions unknown. The perpetrator is among the deceased, and "there's no further threat" reported at this time. According to CNN, San Bernardino City Unified School District is expected to release a statement shortly.
As continued reports and details flood the news cycle, it seems somewhat impossible to not think back to the last time San Bernardino was in the news. On Dec. 2, 2015, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik opened fire during Farook's office holiday party, killing 14 and wounding 22 others in what was later described as a terrorist attack. While these two situations appear to not be related in any way, one cannot help but think back to that horrible December day, and how much the community of San Bernardino has already suffered.
Perhaps, what the two incidences will, inevitably, have in common is the revived conversation concerning gun laws. It appears that, after every act of gun violence and subsequent loss of life, political pundits and well-meaning citizens alike take to their respective social media sites and pontificate as to whether or not gun laws are too lax or already infringe too much on the second amendment. It's a "this is why we need common sense gun laws" vs. "this is why we need to arm teachers at schools" debate, and it's one that continues while politicians tweet their hopes and prayers, doing seemingly little else.
Whether it was in 2015, when 14 people lost their lives, or it was today, in 2017, when two adults died in a classroom and two elementary school children were taken to a local hospital after a reported murder-suicide happened in their classroom, one thing is for certain: things aren't changing fast enough, and they must. Something must change.