TULSA - Another massacre at an American school means another round of finger-pointing, cries for reform, and searching for answers.
In Tulsa, as in cities across the country, people talk about their fears and their opinions on what needs to be done.
Diners at Tally’s Good Food Café (11th and Yale in Tulsa) had a wide range of opinions.
One man said teachers should have guns; just feet away, a woman said there’s no excuse for anyone to have military-style weapons unless they’re in the military.
Rick Chandler and his wife were about to order their breakfast when KRMG asked them for their thoughts.
And he had a lot to say, because it turns out he carries a firearm with him at all times, but also teaches martial arts and counsels parents and teachers who have had problems with bullying.
“I’ve got six black belts in different styles, and I tell every one of my students ‘if there’s a door, get out,’” Chandler said.
The best bet is to avoid the situation entirely, by being aware of your surroundings at all time, he added.
And if avoidance or escape are no longer options, one is well-served by having at least some training in self-defense.
A couple miles away, owner David Stone at Dong’s Guns, Ammo and Reloading near Admiral and Yale told KRMG guns aren’t the problem - and gun control’s not the solution.
Unlike when Barack Obama was president, however, he didn’t see a spike in sales after the latest mass shooting.
“It’s because President Trump has made it very clear he’s not about to take away gun rights,” Stone told KRMG.
And after a few political leaders laid some of the blame for school shootings on violent video games, KRMG visited Ivan Juarez, owner of Delta Games in Tulsa, near 21st and Memorial.
Juarez told KRMG he’s heard it all before.
“Every time something violent with teenagers, or a teenager does something violent, they also mention video games - because that’s what teenagers do,” he told KRMG.
Research on the possible correlation between violent games and actual violence is all over the map.
Perhaps the most telling statistic is the large drop in the national homicide rate in recent years - years in which video games were invented, and have become vastly more complex and realistic.
Many researchers point out that the statistical sample of people who commit mass killings is so small, it’s impossible to establish a credible causal link.
And, clearly, millions of people play the same games, without acting out with actual violence.
Back at Tally’s, a man who began the conversation by saying it’s time to arm the teachers didn’t take long to admit perhaps that’s not a solution.
In fact, he said, “from what happened yesterday (Wednesday) and what I understand, I don’t think you could stop it. When they get in their mind they’re going to do something, they’re going to do it.”