Active shooter at YouTube headquarters. It’s shocking news to hear, especially for a Bay Area native like myself.
Tech companies are a distinct part of the Bay Area culture. Everyone in the Bay Area knows someone who works at a tech company. These companies are part of our community to the point that our lunchtime gossip and chatter is dominated by discussions on latest apps, software, and startups.
The people who work at these companies are innovative and optimistic, and their workplaces are optimized for creativity through happiness. It’s shocking to hear of someone targeting such people and such a place. Frankly, it’s disgusting, but the reality is that the world we live in has these sorts of disturbed individuals.
As time passes, more and more information will be released about the incident, but as of now we know a few things. We know that the shooter was a female YouTuber who was upset at the company for demonetizing her content — making it harder for her to earn money through videos. She traveled from her home in San Diego to the Bay Area, a seven-hour drive, and didn’t know any individuals who worked at the company. The shooter purchased a handgun legally earlier this year. She entered the YouTube campus through the parking garage and began shooting in a semi-public café near an entrance. After shooting three people, she took her own life.
We can agree that any person who commits acts like this is sick. We can also agree that these events should never take place in our communities. So, let’s talk about guns.
Unfortunately, a lot of our country’s most shocking and tragic shootings have involved guns that were obtained legally. This incident is an example, as is Parkland, and Pulse Nightclub, and Las Vegas. These perpetrators are passing background checks. Consequently, this leads many to ask why we even bother having them.
Well, if these people got guns, imagine the types of people getting guns if these background checks weren’t in place. These background checks prevent terrorists from obtaining guns for instance, which, we can hopefully all agree, is good.
We still haven’t figured out how to catch everyone, though, and it doesn’t make sense to get rid of the safeguard because it doesn’t cover everything.
In my state, California, we have some of the toughest gun regulations as well as an assault rifle ban, effective from earlier this year, that prevents the sale of assault rifles. Did our state legislation fail us?
No, it did its job, which isn’t to prevent all shootings, but rather to prevent evil people who we couldn’t detect from causing damage to the scale of Parkland, Pulse Nightclub, or Las Vegas. It limited the damage.
In the case of YouTube, when the shooter decided to purchase her weapon, she could only purchase a handgun unlike the other shooters, who could purchase assault rifles. The other shooters killed dozens of innocent people. The YouTube shooter wounded three.
This could have been worse.