The Great America Scare

  • Timothy Meneses ’21

At the conclusion of the festive October month, knowledge of a mass shooter on the property of Great America induced terror into the Bay Area community and even some of our own Sacred Heart Students. 

Great America, an amusement park in Santa Clara County, is known for its thrilling roller coasters, fun adventures, and long lines. Annually, the theme park even hosts the “Haunt”, a special Halloween attraction open on Friday and Saturday nights within the month of October. However, no attendee of Great America last October 26 ever expected to hear that a shooter may have lurked among them. Anne Sophie Lacombe ‘21, was enjoying the park when suddenly [she] “saw hordes of people running to the entrance. And two of my friends followed the crowd and my friend Bennett just grabbed my hand and we all started running. While reports of an active shooter firing spread, police simply stated that a strong arm robbery had been committed. According to spectators, a witness saw the robbery followed by a short lived fight and screamed rumors of an active throughout the park causing panic and chaos,

Many more of close members in our community visited Great America on this night. Bennet Kruse ‘21 remembers a “mass of people running toward the exit” and feeling an instinct to “run when seeing other people running for their lives.” This stampede of people symbolized the omnipresent danger that can occur even in places we have been accustomed to our whole lives. 

In our bubble of Silicon Valley, we have not had the same experiences that erupt from the impacts of gun violence as the rest of the country. Bennett also believes that, “America has a gun problem and not enough laws are being regulated. When something like this happens, our minds go to the darkest places. We don’t want to simply stay and be killed, Although, we can’t let fear control our lives.” With the fear instilled from the scare at Great America, it poses the dilemma of living our daily lives with the caution of protecting those whom we love.

Students, as can be seen in Ryan Mo’s Editorial, are reflecting on the experience and posing questions as to how they can become more involved in advocacy for legislation that might prevent this sort of incident in the future.

Photo by Mercury News

By Axel de Vernou

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