Two dead after shooting at yoga studio

On Friday, Nov. 2, Scott Paul Beirele walked into a yoga studio in Tallahassee, Florida and shot and killed two people. Beirele has a history of posting racist and sexist comments online and sympathized with Elliot Rogers, the gunman who killed six people and wounded 14 others near the University of California Santa Barbara.

Guilford College professors shared their views on what factors lead to mass shootings.

“I think it’s a combination of easy availability of guns, a stigma against seeking help for mental illness, limited access to mental illness treatment, and an aggressive, individualistic culture,” said Professor of Psychology Sarah Estow in an email interview. “There are different motivations (some are motivated by racial or ethnic hatred, some by serious mental illness, some by both, some by isolation and untreated rage).”

It is difficult to pinpoint exact reasons why mass shootings occur.

“If you’re looking at mass shootings, it’s a different ball game,” said Professor of Criminal Justice William Pizio. “But if you’re looking at the specific shootings that are based on a person or a gender or on a religion or sexual identity, that’s a whole different ball game.”

Estow believes that the Internet plays a role in radicalization of shooters, and something from online might have encouraged both shooters to turn to violent extremism.

“The Internet can also normalizes some of the really deviant and awful and violent thoughts these murderers have,” said Estow.

Students at Guilford expressed sorrow over the shooting.

“I thought it was pretty horrible, I think that was a lot of people’s reaction,” said Junior Katherine Hernon-Reeves. “And I think it’s in comparison to what Trump has done with passing the bill that Obama placed for the mentally ill of taking away the ban on it.”

First-year Mather Stanley echoed this sentiment.

“I think that we need to try to figure out what is making people want to do this, so we can figure out if there’s a way to stop that from happening again,” Stanley said. “I think one thing that we need to do is definitely to ramp up some security in the schools and stuff to make sure that it’s not so easy for a kid, or grown-up, or whoever to just sneak a gun or a weapon into a school to do this.”Luca