Shooting in Pleasanton: How has the gun control debate impacted our local community?


Zenil Koovejee

Authorities have confirmed that the weapon used to commit the crime was a handgun (recovered near the Home Depot).

In the past month, a tragic incident unfolded at the Pleasanton Home Depot store, when employee Blake Mohs was fatally shot while confronting a shoplifting suspect. 

This incident has once again brought the national issue of gun control to the forefront of local discussions, as the community mourns the loss of one of its own and seeks to raise awareness of the issue.

“Normally, we always hear of school shootings and mass instances of gun violence that occur far away. This tragedy, which has impacted our local community, has put this issue into perspective,” said Ativ Asarawala (‘24).

Both suspects involved in the incident have been apprehended – facing several charges, including murder, robbery, child endangerment, and conspiracy. In addition, authorities have recovered a handgun near the Home Depot, which they believe to be the weapon used to commit the crime.

“I go to the Home Depot store quite often. It is a strange feeling to know that a man was murdered at a place I assumed was completely safe,” said Agash Morekonda (‘24). 

Mohs joins the more than 11,500 people killed in gun-related circumstances so far in 2023. While the prospect of gun violence and the overall gun-control debate has sometimes felt irrelevant or inconsequential to countless students, many have now recognized and emphasized the symbolic significance of this tragedy and the notion that gun violence can impact anyone, anywhere, on any given day.

“This needs to stop. People are dying everyday because of guns. While I understand the Second Amendment and its importance, there are limits to everything – guns are no exception,” said Pleasanton resident Jignesh Kantilal

In light of the recent tragedy, the local community has also expressed their sympathy and support to those affected by Mohr’s death. Furthermore, the highly debated topic of gun control has resurfaced, with various community members offering different perspectives and solutions to address the issue at hand. 

“We must find a way to solve the problem and compromise. Both sides must come together for the sake of us all,” said Asarawala

Ultimately, many have stated that Mohr’s passing serves as yet another reminder of the ongoing toll of gun violence. While voices across the political spectrum have demanded change, meaningful reform remains elusive and both Pleasanton and the nation must wait, watch, and listen for the future of the bullet, the barrel, and the lives lost in-between.