ASST. HEAD COPY EDITOR
We all hate a company or two because of policies that seem outlandish, but Nasim Najafi Aghdam took her disagreement to a whole new level when she opened fire on YouTube headquarters Tuesday, April 2, injuring at least three people and killing herself. According to CNN, there were multiple warning signs, so why was nothing done to prevent this?
Aghdam’s brother was worried that she would do something, as she had stopped answering calls and he knew that she had a problem with YouTube for restricting her videos. He claims to have warned police that because his sister “had gone all the way from San Diego,” it was likely she was planning to do something rash. The police encountered Aghdam sleeping in her car in a parking lot in Mountain View and said that they were not alarmed. “Throughout our entire interaction with her,” said Mountain View police, “she was calm and cooperative.”
A website filled with videos of someone who appears to be Aghdam has been discovered. The videos show the woman ranting about YouTube. According to CNN, the website even connects to four YouTube channels that use Farsi, Turkish, and English, and one dedicated completely to hand art that also appear to feature Aghdam. It has not been confirmed whether the website actually belonged to Aghdam. What has been confirmed, according to The Washington Post, is that Aghdam visited a shooting range just before going to YouTube Headquarters. “It is believed the suspect was upset with the policies and practices of YouTube,” said Chief of Police Ed Barberini, with only a suspected disagreement as a motive, Aghdam reportedly opened fire without discretion before immediately committing suicide. One of her victims remains at the hospital in critical condition, while the other two have been released.
My question is: How was this not preventable? There were videos, calls, and even strange habits that should have led to suspicion among the police force. Despite having talked to her in person that morning, police claim that there was no cause for suspicion. Despite calls from her family, police claim there was no cause for suspicion. When will there be cause for suspicion? Is it only after someone begins shooting that we can be suspicious?
I am reminded of Oct. 1, 2017. In Las Vegas, Nevada, Stephen Paddock brought a staggering 24 firearms into a hotel room in preparation for a massacre. Yet, no one was suspicious. Why? How is it that in the society we live, in which we are being constantly recorded by security cameras, laptop cameras, and phone cameras alike, no one noticed that Paddock had stockpiled an arsenal of weapons? There was a time when people believed in their policemen. People could trust that the “men in blue” would stay true to their duties. With shootings occurring in almost every state across the country, faith in the police force has been shaken — especially knowing that they could have prevented these attacks.
I am terrified every day. When I hear a door slam, my first thought is: Where will I hide? If anyone mentions wanting or owning a gun, I immediately trust them less. I do not want to live in a society where my trust in my fellow humans has vanished completely. Something needs to change, and it needs to change now.