Are We Vulnerable to a Mass Shooting at FCC?


Photo by: Christian Hurtado

Story By: Christian Hurtado, Reporter

In the early afternoon of Aug. 26, 2018 David Katz walked into a pizza parlor in Jacksonville, Florida where a video game tournament was being held and opened fire, killing two people and injuring at least 10, before killing himself.

Killings like this have plagued the headlines for years now. They are similar in construction: an angry man decides to buy a gun at his local gun store and then proceeds to kill as many people as he can before committing suicide.

No one is sure how these people come to decide to commit such horrific crimes, but they carry them out nonetheless. These events leave experts to wonder if there are more men on the verge of committing acts like this out there, or what precautions we can take to prevent them.

I have wondered if Fresno City College has a system in place to protect students from the possibility of a mass shooting. Sean Henderson, dean of students, assured me that the college is taking precautions.

“There are annual trainings that the school participates in, as well as regular emergency alarm tests,” he said.  You may have heard one of these tests taking place if you were on campus on a Friday afternoon.

“You don’t go to work everyday and think about that sort if thing, just like you don’t get on a plane and expect it to go down. These things just happen,” Henderson said. He also explained that most crimes at FCC are theft related.

I decided to walk around campus and ask random students how safe they felt at FCC in regards to gun violence. Almost all responded that they believed that the campus is safe.  “There is always police passing by here and it always feels safe,” said Leo, a student.

“I kind of think about it, but how I see it right now, I don’t believe that it can happen here; it feels safe here to me,” said another student, Brianna Juarez who sat at the fountain with her friend, Erwin Oliver. Oliver also agreed that FCC feels safe in regards to gun violence.

The campus maintains a regular police presence.

Could it be that FCC is able to detour the potential for some lunatic opening fire on students, and that is why students including myself feel safe? Or is it because most students at FCC understand the odds of anything like that happening to them are slim? To answer that question, I looked into the statistics.

A majority of gun related deaths are suicides which account for roughly 60 percent of all gun related deaths, while homicides make up about 30 percent, followed by accidental deaths. 2017 was the deadliest year for mass shootings-208 lives were claimed. Yet, mass shootings make up such a small percentage of gun deaths that the chances of being killed in a mass shooting are comparatively minuscule.  

As to the possibility of a shooting event at FCC, I found that most students, including myself, feel very safe on campus, and rightly so. Guns certainly do kill, but to fear dying from a gun as the result of a mass shooting is unnecessary. Mass shootings are rare, and students can’t live their lives fearing the next shooter. FCC students should feel safe, and they do.