On November 14th, 2019, yet another school shooting occurred in Santa Clarita, Southern California, about 30 miles north of Los Angeles. Despite only taking 16 seconds from start to finish, over five people were shot, including the shooter himself. The shooter in custody, Nathaniel Berhow, is a 16-year-old male in grave condition. Two of his peers, including a 16-year-old girl, and a 14-year old-boy were killed after arriving at the hospital. As of November 29th, there is still no known motive for the shooting at Saugus High School and it is unclear what the connection is between the shooter and the victims other than the fact that they attended the same high school.
An Instagram account linked to the Sargus High School shooting suspect had the bio changed by a third party prior to the shooting; reading, “Saugus have fun at school tomorrow.” However, this change is still unclear whether or not it was done by a hacker, or a friend.
Sharon Orelana Cordova, told NBC Los Angeles that she was doing homework when she saw people running, so she started running too. “When I got out, I saw this person lying down on the ground, and I saw blood all over. It was really scary. I was really, really scared.”
Student Amber Miller, Saugus High student explained that she “was using our desks, we took a bunch of big tables, just barricaded the door, a lot of people grabbed scissors and prepared just in case we had to fight back.”
As soon as local law enforcement could reach the scene, Saugus was placed on lockdown, as were the neighboring elementary schools and all of the schools in Saugus’ William S. Hart Union High School District.
In response, the White House sent their “deepest condolences to the families and friends” lost in the shooting. President Trump himself tweeted about the event, writing that he continues to monitor the “terrible events at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California through our ongoing communications with Local, State, and Federal Authorities. We send out our condolences to the families and friends of those tragically lost, and we pray for the speedy recovery of the wounded.”
Vice President Mike Pence offered his support as well, calling it, “another heartbreaking day for students and parents in America.” Pence even pledged that the administration is dedicated to ending the “scourge of gun violence” referencing a conversation with President Trump; “I spoke to [him] not long ago and he asked me to convey his deepest sympathies to the families of the victims and the community. [He] has directed the full resources of the federal government to support local law enforcement efforts as the investigation goes forward.”
Despite the well-wishing words, politicians, students, and activists have called out the Trump Administration and republican lawmakers for refusing to address the issue of gun violence at its core. Democratic Senator Chris Murphy explained that “at this very moment I was on the Senate floor making a motion to force a vote for universal background checks, news of the Santa Clarita shooting broke. Republicans objected, my motioned failed, and now, as a consequence, the slaughter of our children will continue. Devastating.”
Students who lead the March for Our Lives movement called out republican lawmakers and President Trump by declaring, “Children died today because of your inaction.”
Whether or not you support comprehensive background checks, gun control; or you back the Trump Administration, there is no denying that such an epidemic of gun violence has got to come to an end.
By Maggie Di Sanza