America Runs on Guns? How Mass Shootings Affect Pace


Tim Mudd.

America’s love affair with guns has increasingly become more controversial.

Infiniti Styles Bowie, Features Writer

Three hundred and seven.

There have been 307 mass shootings in America this year. The last shooting happened just this past Wednesday at a bar in Thousand Oaks, California.

What was supposed to be a night filled with beer and fun turned into a nightmare of blood and terror at the Borderline Bar & Grill. The bar was packed with college students that night, as it was “College Country Night”. Instead of students dancing to the blare of country music, however, they were forced to run and take cover when an armed gunman began shooting into the crowd.

The gunman, who has been identified as Marine veteran Ian D. Long, killed 13 people, including himself. Among those killed in the massacre was Sgt. Ron Helus and actress Tamara Mowry-Housley’s niece, Alaina Housley.

Thousand Oaks shooting victims
Victims of the Thousand Oaks shooting. Photo from

Just last month, a gunman opened fire in a Jewish synagogue in Pittsburg, killing 11 people. In October 2017, Stephen Paddock shot and killed 59 people during a concert in Las Vegas. On June 12, 2016, a security guard murdered 49 people at a nightclub in Orlando. Then there was the Sandy Hook Elementary Massacre, where the lives of children were ripped away from them by 20-year-old Adam Lanza.

The frequency of these inhumane acts of horror is alarming to Pace students. Upon hearing about Wednesday’s mass shooting, Victoria Rooney, a freshman at Pace, called the concept “scary”.

“It is very sad to think that every time you go to a place, something like this can happen,” Rooney said. “I find it scary how frequent shootings have become, and I hope that we can have a future where we are protected and not living in fear.”

The freshman believed that there were a lot of reasons that shootings keep occurring, but that safety was the main issue.

“I think safety should be the number one priority, and it should be addressed so these shootings can be shut down rather than [be more] frequent,” Rooney said.

Paulie’s is a bar in downtown Pleasantville that serves as a major stomping ground for Pace students. Being that the Thousand Oaks shooting took place at a bar where many college students were in attendance, some students, such as Cecily Casas, were fearful about the thought of a similar incident happening so close to home.

“That is something that’s been on my mind for a bit,” the sophomore said. “I genuinely believe it can happen anywhere, so wondering if it can be me next is always a fear of mine.”

Casas also believed that gun control was the primary issue behind the frequent mass shootings.

“[It] is 100 percent gun control,” Casas said. “I’m not saying guns should be completely banned because they’re definitely useful, but it’s so simple to get a gun and I definitely think that’s the root of the problem. We just need stricter laws.”

The world is no longer a safe haven, with the constant fear of a tragedy happening at any given moment plaguing the minds of civilians. Senior Aelaf Tesfasilasie is one of the many people who fear for their safety in this day and time.

“Honestly, I’m fearful in any place I go to,” the senior said. “Not just bars or parties, but I’m fearful when I’m on campus or anywhere in public because anyone around me could just decide to start shifting.”

Like Casas, Tesfasilasie also believed that gun control could be the possible cause of most mass shootings.

“[It’s] probably lack of gun control laws and not making sure those buying it are mentally stable,” Tesfasilasie said, “but it’s hard to determine that.”

Will America make it up to 308 mass shootings before 2019? Will the world ever truly feel safe again? Only time will tell.