Local college students discuss key issues involving recent Las Vegas shooting

Shooting a teachable lesson in political science

Local college students discuss key...

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - The recent shooting in Las Vegas has been the topic of conversation across the country the past two days.

At Allan Hancock College, students are speaking about the deadly incident, both outside the classroom, as well as on the inside.

"It's like global warming," said political science student Elias Solorio."We just keep on breaking records I guess. This is, once again, the biggest mass shooting in modern U.S.history and it's kind of scary the numbers are only going up."

On Tuesday, in a Comparative Politics course taught by Jessica Scarffe, students spoke at length about the tragic event that transpired less than 48 hours earlier.

"It broke my heart to hear the news," said an unnamed student while speaking in class. "The rest of the world is looking at us and asking what are we doing?"

For about 30 minutes before the start of the day's regularly scheduled lecture, Scarffe led a frank discussion that included several key issues, such as terrorism and gun control.

"It's something that students our age, especially in college, should be having these intellectual conversations with each other, being able to get all these ideas out and solving these issues together," said political science student Seles Munoz.

While several important issues were addressed, the talk only raised more questions than provided answers. However, that's the nature of a college class holding a conversation such as this.

"I thought it was a very healthy discussion," said Scarffe. "Very respectful, concern for the victims and trying to make sense of it, trying to understand it.

Students add they're appreciative to have a forum, where important, and often times controversial topics, can be debated.

"We find our own information before we get to here and then we say, okay it is right, it is wrong, do we agree, do we not agree, what are the facts? At the end of the day, We have to make our decisions based on facts," said Solorio.

Even in light of the tragedy, the shooting has already become a teachable lesson, not just for political science students, but for also for other students at the college.

"My job is talk about those events in the context of the course I'm teaching and I imagine my colleagues across campus are doing the same thing," said Scarffe. "If it's a sociology class or psychology class or administration of justice class, I presume the conversations tilt towards the actual subject."

While Sunday's shooting may be a subject that's difficult and uncomfortable, it's also something students say is necessary to talk about.

"The more that we learn from history and as it's happening," said Munoz. "It's making history everyday, it's important we keep in contact with it and learn from it, so we don't make the same mistakes." 

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