Gun control debate starts anew following UCSB mass shooting

By Henni Espinosa, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

May 27, 2014

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. – The national debate over gun control and mental illness have started anew, following Elliot Rodger’s shooting rampage in Isla Vista, California last Friday.

The University of California Santa Barbara student stabbed three people to death, fatally shot three others and injured 13 people, before killing himself.

Rodger reportedly targeted popular people, especially girls, who did not date him. “I’m going to kill them and then I’m going to kill myself. I remember him saying that little bit very distinctively,” an unidentified neighbor of Rodger shared.

Prior to Friday’s mass shooting, a May 14 poll released by the University of Massachusetts showed that a majority of Americans, more than three quarters, support major policy changes when it comes to gun control. Seventy-eight percent favor more thorough background checks and psychological analysis for people buying guns and 80% favor closing the gun show loophole, which allows gun buyers not to go through background checks.

Meantime, in Arizona, Governor Jan Brewer vetoed several Republican-sponsored bills tackling gun control, which included HB 2339, a bill that would have allowed weapons in public buildings and public events that did not provide metal detectors or security guards at each public entrance. Brent Bawit is against it, pointing out, “Guns provoke people. When you are in a public place and you get into conflict with someone who has a gun, that person could end up pulling his out and shooting you or other people.”

On the national front, President Barack Obama has made it his priority to pass stricter gun control measures under his term. But Congress has yet to pass them.

With a report from Florenz Legaspi.

You can contact Henni Espinos at for more information.

One Comment

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  • JRB
    28 May 2014 at 6:26 pm - Reply

    Can we ask our self, why now we have national debate over gun control and mental illness? It should have happen long time ago in the 1960,1970,1980,1990,2000,2010,2013,2014. You have to see young kids get killed than we all cry about why we should a gun control reform. Little to late to do something about it right now?