Wednesday night’s shooting in Thousand Oaks marks the 307th mass shooting incident in 2018. That number is 39 incidents shy of the record-breaking numbers from 2017.
Mass shootings in 2018 map here.
Former FBI agent and war veteran Clint Van Zandt weighed in on the tragedy in an interview with NBC Palm Springs:
Will this tragedy be the “light at the end of the tunnel” for change?
“None of these shootings have been the one. Congress rustles with what to do, you’ve got one side that says lets register guns or take them away you’ve got the other side, saying ‘oh no, you’ll pry that gun from my cold dead hand.’ Somewhere in between, those forces have got to come to a meeting, have got to come to an understanding and I think it’s up to us as citizens to demand Congress take some type of action as opposed to just one or two more days of pounding the desk and whining.”
“Unfortunately, it falls on us individually. It’s how many times can we talk to a lawmaker? How many of us can speak to him or her before they finally get the message?”
Is there another answer apart from gun legislation?
“What we try to understand is what was the final trigger. Why today? Why not two weeks ago? Why not a week from now? If we can better understand those triggers on an individual, maybe we can stop him from pulling that trigger.”
Are we doing enough for PTSD victims?
“The support systems are out there but in this particular case the mother said ‘I wanted to get him help but he wouldn’t accept it.’”
What if another person refuses to accept help?
“The law enforcement and the community has to somehow help them seek that help. In this case, as I said, the individual’s mother was begging him to seek help and he didn’t get it. Where does a parent go, where does a neighbor go, after that point?”
What will it take to see a drop in mass shootings?
“The only thing that’s going to change is when our mental health, our criminal justice and our community in general all realize we’ve all got something in this fight and it’s life.”
A mental health check was conducted on the suspect. He was later cleared, being found not a threat to himself or others. The case is still under investigation with the FBI.