Following the massacre at Santa Monica College, police investigators are trying to solve a mystery how the alleged gunman, John Zawahiri, was able to obtain an assault rifle used in the deadly shootings that left five people dead and five others injured.
According to the police, 23-year-old Zawahiri had total of 1,300 rounds on disposal for the attacks on and around the campus along Pico Boulevard, which reopened with additional security Monday for students to finish their final exams.
Meanwhile, gun control advocates have raised an alarm on how a young man who allegedly threatened students and teachers during his time at Santa Monica High School was able to acquire a firearm that has been illegal in the state of California since 1989.
On the other hand, there are those who think differently. UCLA Law Professor Adam Winkler told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO that people shouldn’t expect an instant solution from lawmakers in Sacramento or Washington.
“I don’t think there’s any gun control law we can adopt that’s gonna stop a crazed madman from killing a lot of people,” said Winkler. “One of the problems with the state-based firearms laws…is that people can easily go into Nevada and Arizona and buy firearms there and bring them back. They’re not supposed to be allowed to do that.”
What is more, mass killings like those at Santa Monica College, Virgina Tech University and other so-called “gun-free zones” may actually instigate gun rights supporters who will say the more Americans exercise their Second Amendment rights, the safer the public will be, according to Winkler, who wrote “Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America”.
“There’s certainly some logic to it…if more people are armed, there’s likely to be someone who might stand up and defend themselves,” Winkler said.
He warns, though, that if we increase the number of armed citizens drastically, the resulting situation could increase the number of gun accidents and possibly complicate police response efforts to any shooting as officers may not be able to determine who to target.
Professor Winkler believes that the long-term solution in the area of public safety will be made by increasing efforts to reduce the daily death toll from firearms violence.
“If we can take those 30-odd people who die every day at the hands of firearms and reduce that number by one or two, we’ve made a big impact on a lot of people’s lives,” he said.