Violence Prevention Aftermath
As a result of the Las Vegas shooting that took place on October 1st, a panel discussion was held to promote a sense of solidarity within the Chaffey College community. The event, titled “Violence Prevention Aftermath,” which took place on Wednesday, October 18, provided students and faculty with an opportunity to discuss topics regarding the issue.
Among four panelists were Chaffey College Chief of Police Officer Frank Martinez, Communication Studies Professor Carmen Navarro, mass shooting survivor Sally Cardinale and student Jessica Martinez. Each panelist shared a different perspective on their experience with the topic.
Professor Navarro initiated the discussion with an overview on America’s gun violence history, displaying graphs and statistics on various aspects such as frequency, location and mass shooting outcomes. She explained the most common area of shootings are businesses at 45.6% and schools at 24.4%, according to an article by CNN.
Following the panel was student Jessica Martinez, whose parents were attendants of the Route 91 Festival in Las Vegas.
“I didn’t get a hold of my parents until about 10 a.m. and to this day, my mom doesn’t talk about it,” she said.
Survivor and former projects specialist at the Inland Regional Center, where the San Bernardino incident took place, Sally Cardinale said her office was located directly in front of the door where the shooters entered. She explained getting up two minutes before the incident to use the bathroom, and witnessed a puff of white smoke from the wall while she washed her hands.
“I didn’t really put it together that it was the dry wall,” she said, “Some of my coworkers rushed into the bathroom to take cover and we all huddled into the stalls over the toilet seat and just hugged each other. I tried to call 911 and it was busy.”
Although the shooters did not enter the bathroom where they hid, Cardinale explained assessing the final moments of her life and began to analyze her purpose.
Cardinale turned to advocacy, stating she had testified twice in front of state senates sharing her experience.
“We need to stop giving notoriety to the shooters and start talking about solutions,” she said, “We all process things differently. It’s not fair to try to force a perception on how someone should react, or assume that how one person reacted is how everyone is going to react.”
Officer Frank Martinez explained another perspective on the December 2 shooting. While working at the assignment sheriff’s office at the time, he explained receiving information about the incident and began driving around looking for the suspects. Officer Martinez also mentioned receiving false claims about active shooters at different locations.
“Unfortunately the thing about active shooters is you just don’t know,” he explained, “in order to have a free society, our options are limited.” Officer Martinez said he is constantly playing the “What If ” game in terms of analyzing different possibilities of a situation. In moving forward, Martinez suggests the “Run Hide Fight” technique while dealing with an active shooter. Other topics in preventing these incidents include self-evaluation, planning and preparation, raising awareness on social media, advocating unity and utilizing professional services on campus such as counseling.