In wake of the recent shootings in San Bernardino, California, politicians are in battle once again. But laws and political agendas aside, it is often forgotten how these tragedies affect singular people, on a personal level. Amanda Smith, sophomore, and Nick Melocchi, freshman, weigh in on the matter.
Q: Are you ever afraid that a shooting or some type of violent act is going to occur?
Amanda Smith: I went to Franklin Regional and I was there the day of the stabbings. Ever since, it’s always been in the back of my mind that somebody around me could have a knife, gun, or any sort of weapon, especially in crowded places like concerts, malls, or hospitals.
Nick Melocchi: No, I feel safe generally. Nothing that bad has ever happened around me.
AS: Occasionally I’ll think, “what if this happens to me? How would I react in a dangerous situation?” What I have thought about pertaining to mass violence and myself are the occasional nightmares I have about the day of the stabbings.
NM: I spend very little time thinking about it. The subject comes up often in school and on television, but it doesn’t really affect me. I wing it day by day.
Q: Have you ever been afraid to go to a public place or event?
AS: I’ve never necessarily been afraid to go to a public place, but there have been instances where I’ve been somewhere really crowded and encountered someone who wasn’t quite right like this guy on a subway in DC. There aren’t any metal detectors or any sort of bag check for subways so it crossed my mind that the guy talking to himself on the subway could be a gunman.
NM: No, I’m an outgoing person. I’m not going to let fear stop me from doing what I want.
Q: What is usually your first thought after seeing a tragedy, like the Paris attacks or the California shooting recently, on the news?
Amanda Smith: I was really disappointed in society that mass violence has become such commonplace. I felt so sorry for the victims, especially the children who were killed in the Paris attacks. I guess a lot of people are desensitized to these things, but I don’t think I am.
NM: It’s terribly sad. It’s crazy that these things happen, they seem like something out of a movie. I just hope that the criminals are dealt with.