Cougars on Campus Gun Violence


As of October 2019 the United States has had over 300 mass shootings. Eight of those shootings have occurred at schools or universities. The media typically covers these tragedies with full coverage, highlighting the shooter, motives, and the number of people wounded and killed. It may feel to some that the United States may be in an epidemic of shootings. In light of the multiple shootings that have occurred in this past year, I wanted to ask some students from our campus their opinions on the shootings and how they feel about the campus security. We interviewed two students from CSUSM. 6th year transfer student George Hernandez, who is earning his psychology degree and minors in chemistry and german. And second year international student Devanshi Upadhyaya, an international student hailing from India;


Q: Do you feel safe on campus?

A: George -“I feel relatively safe but I guess there are things in the news that typically make me not feel that.” 

A: Devanshi – “Yes fortunately I have felt pretty safe… even if I am working late and since I use the sprinter, if I have to walk to the station I know that I am safe and even if I am not, that there are people around me that can help me at any moment in time.”


Q: How have the recent mass shootings affect your level of comfort here at CSUSM?

A: George – “It definitely puts the idea that literally everything could change in a matter of seconds… every time I do see it on the news it does stress me out but I think in between those times I tend to forget sometimes.”

A: Devanshi – “I felt really bad about what happened. I wish it could have never happened to anyone. But overall on campus, I feel safe here.”


Q: How do you feel about campus security? Do you believe it is adequate to deal with an active shooter?

A: George – “Honesty I don’t think so but at the same time I don’t feel like most police departments are.”

A: Devanshi – “They are always on top of their duty. They are always around to help you out no matter what, no matter where you are and what time it is.”


Q: Do you ever feel that CSUSM could be targeted?

A: George – “Yeah, I’d say Where ever there is disgruntled people there is definitely an opportunity for gun violence. So I’d say colleges are pretty high on the targeted list.”

A: Devanshi – “It’s a pretty big school, there are so many students here and all I hope is that it never happens but overall it’s a pretty safe place. I think very critical measures are taken right now to make sure it never happens.”


Q: How would you feel about CSUSM allowing open carry?

A: George – “Oh I don’t know…That’s an interesting question… I would feel very unsafe because everyone has a gun and you don’t know who is crazy. And if someone starts shooting you don’t know who is shooting because everyone has a gun…so I don’t think I would feel safe with that.”

A: Devanshi – “Personally, I do not wish that…its not something that I want… There are some limitations to everything and gun control is one of that.”


Q: Do you have any final thoughts on the topic of campus shootings?

A: George – “I’m for people owning weapons but I think that the screening process is just not working out because there are deranged people who are getting a hold of these weapons.”

A: Devanshi – “I am very grateful for the security measures that have been taken. I feel safe being an international student when your parents aren’t around you… I know that my parents are sound asleep thinking that my daughter is safe and that the school she is studying at is taking every effort to make everyone safe here.”