On Friday night in Santa Barbara, California, 22 year old Elliot Rodger drove his BMW by the UC Santa Barbara’s campus. Rodger proceeded to open fire, killing six people and injuring seven others before allegedly taking his own life. The shooting is another to add to the list of mass shootings in the United States and some in the media are struggling how to cover the story.
During a broadcast on CNN on Saturday, anchor Deborah Feyerick told her guests that the discussion on the mass shooting would focus only on "mental health, and not firearms.”
“This is an ongoing conversation, and it’s one that’s never going to be resolved...It’s got to be about mental health, and not firearms.”
One of the panelists, former New York Police Detective Lou Palumbo, stated that he believes that citizens who want to own a gun should be required to pass the same background checks and take the same firearms training as law enforcement officials.
"Palumbo: These are not unreasonable expectations before you give people firearms.
Feyerick: They’re not unreasonable expectations, but they’re expectations that have to start by lawmakers passing laws. Unfortunately, this is not going to happen. We've seen this over and over again."
Attorney Holly Hughes was also on the panel and she took exception to Feyerick's restriction on gun control talk and finally let loose.
“I know you keep saying, and you keep echoing it throughout the night, I don’t want to blame anybody. We don’t want to blame law enforcement. But we need to do something, Deborah! We need to blame something! And something is a breakdown in our system. It’s about time we do start pointing fingers, and not at individual people. But what is the problem in our system? Where is the breakdown? This young man had never been hospitalized so he never popped when they ran federal background (checks) for him to get a gun.”
Feyerick wanted to highlight mental issues and even video games and entertainment as the major cause of the rise in mass shootings. While increased mental health funding and research is needed, to dismiss any discussion of gun control because as Feyerick says "we've seen this over and over again," any nothing has happened, is excluding possible options that could really help solve the issue.