Faculty and students of Santa Monica College — where a former student wielding a semi-automatic rifle killed five people during a 2013 shooting rampage — hope to expand public conversation about mass shootings from a focus on legislative solutions to include issues of personal and social responsibility.
The March 1 panel discussion “Beyond Gun Control: What Can Be Done to Reduce Violence in Our Society?” convenes student trustee Chase Matthews, SMC sociology professor Rebecca Romo, SMC psychology professor Karen Gunn, former FBI agent Chris Woiwode, Santa Monica Police Lt. Saul Rodriquez and Black Collegians Program organizer Evan Fields to consider what families, institutions and individuals can and should be doing.
“Sometimes it’s necessary for an everyday person to say something, to do something — like call the school psychiatrist. … We need to bring attention to mental health and social responsibility,” says panel organizer and associate professor of English David Burak, whose class would have been in the path of the 2013 shooter had he not given a take-home exam that day.
Burak posits that students expelled for dangerous or threatening behavior should be subjected to a mandatory psychiatric evaluation.
The event is open to the public and takes place at 11:15 a.m. in Humanities and Social Sciences Lecture Hall 165 on the SMC Campus, 1900 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica. Call (310) 434-4100 for more information.