Today, in a San Bernardino medical center dedicated to helping those with disabilities, the U.S. encountered domestic acts of terrorism. Here's the problem at the moment. Not ISIS.
From reports, allegedly, three gunmen entered the facility and opened fire on those within the building. Totally unexpected, on what appeared to be an ordinary Wednesday, at least 20 people were shot in this mass shooting. There are still people inside the building, locked in panic rooms. Likewise, there are officers still on the scene checking each room, says K-CAL 9 News.
With all the public, mass shootings that have happened — and seem to continue, as well as all the seemingly ignored church burnings — it would appear that this country's problem is and has already been here within itself. Why is the United States and many of its citizens concerned with a foreign threat while its domestic issues are swept under the rug and ignored? Just last week, there was a domestic attack on a Planned Parenthood building.
In the San Bernardino incident, police chief Jarrod Burguan, in a public interview, mentioned that "upwards of 14 people are dead," reports K-CAL 9 News. Sure, the Islamic State has validly threatened the safety of the U.S. and its residents. However, domestic tragedies like this have been happening long before and during ISIS's foreign acts of terrorism, elsewhere, outside of the United States.
How is it that many United States citizens are more concerned with a threat that's not even in our faces yet? That's comparable to a little boy who's afraid of a bully from a school in another state while a local bully gets ignored, is it not?
While the hype is focused on foreign terrorism, we have domestic terrorists wreaking havoc on American people. This is where the nation's energy should be concentrated. Not somewhere across the Atlantic or the Pacific oceans.
One of the mass shooting victims, Garrett Lacroix, interviewed with K-CAL 9 News and mentioned the horrors he experienced, as follows.
"The fire alarm went off, but then someone started shouting in the halls there was a possible bomb so we were all told to get back into our office. Eventually we saw officers with vests and automatic weapons so we retreated to our room."Parents were receiving texts from loved ones who were reporting the shootings at their job. Could you imagine the terror such a text would put into a parent's heart? But that's the purpose of terrorism, yes?
Text message from someone who was inside the building of the shooting in #SanBernadino. @CBSNews pic.twitter.com/qyu6AAUOTdDavid Bowdich, Assistant FBI Director, said that he doesn't know whether it's a terrorist incident at the moment. However, ironically, the Federal Bureau of Investigation defines domestic terrorism by the following characteristics:
— Amanda Bazemore (@AmandaBazemore) December 2, 2015
- Involve acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law;
- Appear intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination. or kidnapping; and
- Occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S.
"Preliminary information suggests that these were individuals who came prepared," says police chief Burguan. Likewise, it was tipped that the shooters — who were described as wearing military, tactical gear and being armed with assault rifles — exited the IRC Conference Center and fled northbound on Waterman Avenue, in a black GMC Yukon. Burguan even mentioned during the public press conference that, "at minimum, this is a domestic terrorism issue...they came in with a purpose...they came in with the intent to do something," reports K-CAL 9 News.
Authorities are still evacuating the building. However, all victims are coming out with their hands up. This is because authorities are unsure if any gunmen are still among the victims.
Jarring images from San Bernadino, CA. People evacuated from shooting scene with hands up. #7NEWS pic.twitter.com/Ipo9iegbHbCNN reports that even the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are involved and on location. It's believed that agencies are keeping public information minimal because it's believed the shooters could be listening on police scanners.
— Brad Tatum (@BradTatum) December 2, 2015
If you remember the Denzel Washington movie Inside Man, you might remember that — when all the victims were rescued from the shooters' custodies — the suspects were actually dressed and acting hysterical as everyone else. So, police were unable to distinguish between the two.
Inside Man - Jodie Foster/Denzel Wasington/Clive Owen #6830 https://t.co/lkNAVqPwar pic.twitter.com/Fkrz04ig0NAnd like in the aforementioned movie, the San Bernardino shooters are still at large. K-CAL 9 News reports that agencies do have active leads who are being pursued at the moment. Yet, the initial call came in over two hours ago, which is more than enough time for the suspect to have escaped.
— Lashell Valadez (@LashellValadez) November 28, 2015
Also, there's assumed to be a bomb on the San Bernardino location as well, reports K-CAL 9 News. SWAT is on the scene to defuse the situation. The Federal Aviation Administration has set a flight restriction that was even enforced in the area. Helicopters aren't able to fly below 6,000 feet, says CBS-12 News.
As far as finding family members, San Bernardino police sergeant Vicki Cervantes mentioned that family members are urged to go to the Hernandez Center on 3rd Street and Sierra Way in order to get information about their families.
What are your thoughts? Feel free to share them in the comments section below.