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San Diegans Share Thoughts, Fears In Response To Shooting

Photo caption:

Photo credit: Associated Press

People hold candles during a vigil for shooting victims on Thursday at San Manuel Stadium in San Bernardino, Dec. 3, 2015. A husband and wife opened fire on a holiday banquet, killing multiple people on Wednesday. Hours later, the couple died in a shootout with police.

The mass shooting this week in San Bernardino has again rocked the national psyche. Authorities on Friday said they are investigating it as an "act of terrorism."

The rampage was carried out by a husband and wife. When the shooting Wednesday at a San Bernardino County holiday party was over, 14 were dead and 21 injured.

The shooting came less than a week after a shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs left three people dead.

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A map based on data collected by the Guns Are Cool subreddit shows the San Bernardino shooting was the 355th mass shooting this year in the U.S. The Reddit tracker defines mass shootings as incidents in which four or more people, including the gunman, are killed or injured by gunfire.

All of this led KPBS this week to reach out to the community. We wanted to hear your reaction to yet another shooting, this time one about a two-hour drive from San Diego. We asked two questions:

• After a mass shooting like the one in San Bernardino, do you think or act differently?

• Do shootings like this affect your views on gun policy and the Second Amendment? Why or why not?

KPBS has received dozens of responses and continues to collect them.

Several people said they now think twice about going to public places for fear that a shooting may occur.

"I do think about being shot like that while I'm out and about," said San Marcos resident Stephanie Caballero.

Leng Ky of San Diego said she isn't sure if she acts differently after a mass shooting but "it appears that they can happen anywhere and at anytime."

Daniel Adams of San Diego said, "It has made me more aware of my surroundings, more 'on the lookout' which means a loss of innocence in my daily life."

Gwendolyn Albert of Imperial Beach has two reasons to avoid large social interactions after a mass shooting.

"I find these events traumatizing just to hear about, wherever they happen, and it makes it very difficult to carry on with anything that needs my full attention. In addition I tend to avoid social interaction because I cannot stand to hear people's knee-jerk arguments as to why we should not restrict access to weapons of war. It seems there is no genuine dialogue possible on this issue," Albert said.

The San Bernardino shooting has prompted some to consider buying a gun or to support private gun ownership.

"Shootings like this are moving me toward tolerating private gun ownership. No new gun laws being considered could have prevented this act of terrorism," wrote Jeffrey Meyer.

Amy Gonsalves said, "...aside from just thinking about a rational plan for how to react, I couldn't help the fear that comes along with it, and yesterday that manifested in thinking about getting a gun for myself, which is an abhorrent thought to me. I never even want to hold a gun, let alone own one, but this is what it has come to."

Dustin Herrick said he's become more grateful for the Second Amendment and the ability to protect himself, adding, "I am seriously considering purchasing guns for home protection."

Aside from sharing what they can do themselves, some expressed frustration with elected leaders.

Ramie Zomisky said, "I get more upset at lawmakers for not doing anything."

"The very day of the latest shooting they voted against a bill that would have at least put a band-aid on the problem. I'm at a loss of what to do," wrote Anita Simons.

May Clare VanderSchaff of Vista said her views of gun safety have only strengthened in the last years.

"In 1974 my older brother was robbed and fatally shot. I cannot understand how a constitutional amendment about 'A well regulated militia' is used to allow unstable individuals to own and use war equipment," she wrote.

Phillip Roullard of San Diego said the mass shooting is prompting him to write to his congressional leaders.

"Enough is enough," Roullard said.

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