In the Wake of the IV Tragedy: 2014-2019

 By Aidan Locke & McKay Kinsey


May 2, 2014

Responding to concerned members of the community, Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Deputies conducted a welfare check on a twenty-two-year-old UCSB student, who would later become the perpetrator of the IV Tragedy. The deputies did not search his apartment, stating that he appeared “harmless.”

May 23, 2014

Twenty-one days later the perpetrator wounded fourteen and killed six: George Chen (Chinese: 陳喬治; pinyin: Chén Qiáozhì), 19; Chengyuan “James” Hong (Chinese: 洪晟元; pinyin: Hóng Chéngyuán), 20; and Weihan “David” Wang (Chinese: 王偉漢; pinyin: Wáng Wěihàn), 20; Katherine Breann Cooper, 22; Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez, 20; and Veronika Elizabeth Weiss, 19. He used legally purchased weapons and his car, in which he eventually committed suicide. 

May 24, 2014

The Isla Vista community held a Candlelight Vigil in Storke Plaza, facilitated by Associated Students and the UCSB administration. Thousands attended the event in remembrance of the victims. The assembly moved through Isla Vista, following the perpetrator’s path. Many affected by the tragedy gave speeches, including one victim’s father, the Chancellor of UC Santa Barbara, Henry T. Yang, and community members. Countless speakers expressed their frustration with the lack of gun reform and preventive measures that could have helped prevent the killings.

The Daily Nexus

May 27, 2014

UCSB held a memorial service was held in Harder Stadium that was attended by over 20,000 people mourning and remembering the victims. Speakers shared stories and memories of the victims, and encouraged members of the audience to reach out to politicians with the phrase “Not One More”, in order to assist in promoting stricter gun control.

May 28, 2014

The UCSB Surf Team organized a memorial “Paddle-Out” attended by over 1,000 people in order to remember the victims. One of the organizers stated that the turnout was much bigger than anticipated, and that it was a “testament to the strength and resilience of the community”.

The Daily Nexus

May 18, 2015

Two fathers of victims of the tragedy spoke at an event called “Turning Tragedy into Activism: Why We Got Involved in the Gun Safety Movement” to share their opinions on gun rights. They both advocated for more gun control, but not a complete ban on guns. 

May 23, 2015

UCSB held a candlelight vigil on the anniversary of the tragedy. Chancellor Yang and several family members of the victims spoke in remembrance of those who lost their lives one year prior.

The Daily Nexus

November 8, 2016

Isla Vista voted to enact the Community Services District (CSD), giving the community more power to change and improve itself, although it was not given its own revenue (through a tax) until two years later. 

May 23, 2017

Three years after the shooting, US Congressman Salud Carbajal introduced the “Gun Violence Restraining Order Act,” which would give everyday citizens more power in stopping violent events in the future. It lets anyone file concerns about people they are worried are trying to buy or use guns. Once reported, the police would then investigate them. In certain cases, it would grant the police the power to temporarily confiscate a person’s gun(s), which would aid in stopping access to guns by potential perpetrators. The goal of this act is to prevent shootings by restricting access to guns, and allowing the community to help stop these tragedies by reporting those who they think may be a threat to themselves or others.

January 1, 2019

Assembly Bill 1968 is introduced in California which bans anyone convicted of certain domestic violence misdemeanors and those who have been housed in a mental institution for over a year from ever owning a firearm. Secondly, the bill mandates at least eight hours of firearm safety training for anyone attempting to acquire a concealed carry permit. Third, it gives police officers the power to verbally request gun restraining orders when there is not enough time for a formal, written request.  Finally, it forces all California Law Enforcement agencies to file information on stolen/lost firearms. A majority of these new laws assist in the prevention of tragedies similar to the Isla Vista Tragedy. While this bill was not enacted as a direct result of the Tragedy, the laws it puts forth aid in the prevention of events such as those experienced in Isla Vista on May 23, 2014, from ever happening again.

Works Cited

Timeline: Growth and change in the aftermath of the Isla Vista shooting: The Daily Nexus. The Daily Nexus | The University of California, Santa Barbara’s independent, student-run newspaper. (2017, May 23). Retrieved March 13, 2022, from https://dailynexus.com/2017-05-23/timeline-growth-and-change-in-the-aftermath-of-the-isla-vista-shooting/ 

I.V. community remembers fellow students: The Daily Nexus. The Daily Nexus | The University of California, Santa Barbara’s independent, student-run newspaper. (2014, May 30). Retrieved March 13, 2022, from https://dailynexus.com/2014-05-28/i-v-community-remembers-fellow-students/ 

Thousands attend paddle-out: The daily nexus. The Daily Nexus | The University of California, Santa Barbara’s independent, student-run newspaper. (2015, May 24). Retrieved March 13, 2022, from https://dailynexus.com/2014-05-29/thousands-attend-paddle-out/ 

Rep. Carbajal introduces bicameral legislation to reduce gun violence. U.S. Congressman Salud Carbajal. (2017, May 23). Retrieved March 13, 2022, from https://carbajal.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=108 

Noozhawk. (n.d.). After decades of effort, Isla Vista votes for self-governance. Noozhawk.com Santa Barbara & Goleta Local News. Retrieved March 13, 2022, from https://www.noozhawk.com/article/election_isla_vista_csd_utility_user_tax 

Fathers speak on gun safety, Control: The Daily Nexus. The Daily Nexus | The University of California, Santa Barbara’s independent, student-run newspaper. (2015, May 19). Retrieved March 13, 2022, from https://dailynexus.com/2015-05-19/fathers-speak-on-gun-safety-control/ 

One year later: Candlelit Vigil and March remembers students lost: The Daily Nexus. The Daily Nexus | The University of California, Santa Barbara’s independent, student-run newspaper. (2015, May 26). Retrieved March 13, 2022, from https://dailynexus.com/2015-05-24/one-year-later-students-remembered-in-candlelit-vigil-and-march/ 

We remember them: Honoring the unlucky bright minds of our youth: The Daily Nexus. The Daily Nexus | The University of California, Santa Barbara’s independent, student-run newspaper. (2020, July 24). Retrieved March 13, 2022, from https://dailynexus.com/2015-06-30/we-remember-them-honoring-the-unlucky-bright-minds-of-our-youth/ 

Bradner, E., & Agiesta, J. (2017, October 2). Americans want strict gun laws after mass shootings. then their interest fades. | CNN politics. CNN. Retrieved March 13, 2022, from https://www.cnn.com/2017/10/02/politics/gun-control-polling-las-vegas-shooting/index.html 

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