This is an open letter to the UCSB, to the entire UC system and to students everywhere about what I believe.
In the 1960’s, students changed the war culture of the United States. I believe that in 2014, college students can change the gun culture. If we could do it, so can you. You have the new power of instant social media. USE IT!
I do not believe that society can stop random people from doing random things like the shootings at UCSB last week.
What I do believe is that the gun culture of this society can be changed.
The sheriffs deputies, highly trained with weapons, engaged in two firefights with the gunman. They were not able to stop him immediately, partially because of the danger of hurting more innocent people. I believe that if the people on the streets of Isla Vista had been armed, many more bystanders would have been injured or killed.
I believe that guns are not necessarily the problem, but the culture of people who believe that carrying guns during everyday life creates a belief system that perpetuates the great potential for societal harm.
I believe that weapons derived from war, such as those with large capacity magazines, automatic rifles such as the AK- models, have no place in society. They are weapons of war.
Finally, I believe that the community of the UC system has the power to make changes. There are 235,000 students enrolled, from all over the country and the world. In addition, the larger community of students from college and university systems around the country numbers in the millions. Use social media, contacts at other universities around the country, and ACT.
Demand that your congressmen and women enact sane gun control laws.
Use the power of your votes immediately in the upcoming election to oust any of the elected officials who ignore the will of the people.
People have the right to own guns, but we all have the right to expect safety on the streets as well as in the businesses and other public spots we attend.
Having guns carried in bars where people imbibe in substances which impair judgment is ridiculous.
Carrying guns in churches, synagogues and mosques is antithetical to the teachings of any religion.
Automatic weapons belong in the military, not among civilians.
Like the activists of the sixties, use the power of your numbers and political strength to change the gun culture.
Join and support groups such as the Brady Campaign currently engaged in sane gun law changes. I am not sophisticated enough to come up with a cogent plan. But if those groups have your power mobilized with them in an organized manner, nothing can stop you.
Marc Reisman is a Santa Barbara resident.
Views expressed on the Opinion page do not necessarily reflect those of the Daily Nexus or UCSB. Opinions are submitted primarily by students