Reactions to an overnight Vista shooting that hurt eight people ranged from outrage over gun violence to insistence that more guns would keep more people safe to calls for jail bond reform from folks on social media.
“SMH, no words to fully express my fury at the idiots that did this,” Facebook user Heather Burke Keys commented on a news story posted by The State newspaper.
The shooting happened just after 2 p.m. outside the Empire Supper Club, which has since been shut down and declared a nuisance by Columbia police.
YouTube user M. Dillon Corbett posted a Youtube video from outside of Art Bar, which is next door to Empire. In it, flashing blue lights and police sirens are heard, and the man behind the camera says at least a dozen shots were fired.
Some on social media said it was high time for the club to be closed.
“Nothing but an eye sore in the Vista. Get rid of this building and stop allowing it to be a nuisance in the area!” Facebook user Heidi Berwald commented on one of The State’s news stories.
“So it takes 8 shot persons to get a club shutdown!” Facebook user Michael Johnson commented on the same post.
“It wouldn’t hurt my feelings if they tore that place down and sold the lot,” Facebook user Derek Bowers added.
After it was reported that a University of Kentucky fan visiting Columbia for Saturday’s South Carolina v Kentucky game, sympathy and outrage poured out on Facebook.
For some, the shooting prompted a dialogue about gun laws.
“Can we please get constitutional carry passed so that good people are not helpless against bad guys? #colaisoutofcontrol” Twitter user @tiffanyngibson tweeted at S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster, in response to a tweet from the Columbia Police Department confirming the number of victims.
“I wonder how many of the shooters were legal gun owners ????????????????????????” Facebook user Brenda Buff Creson commented on a post by The State.
“We need more guns and less regulations,” Facebook user Kimber Lee Mastatoulo commented on The State’s page, clarifying that it was written with sarcasm. That comment drew a slew of responses, including, “Last I checked the criminals never really cared about regulations,” from a user named Steve Cotter.
A Facebook user named Auretha Callison posted Saturday afternoon that had spent the evening at the Oyster Bar, about a block away, and was parked not far from where the shooting happened. She guesses she left the area just a couple minutes before the shooting started, in search of something to eat.
“I remember passing the first bar mentioned, as I toured the Vista by foot, and I felt a heavy, dark feeling about it. I kept wondering if I should move my car closer..wondering why I had parked a full city block upstreet from the center of the action,” Callison wrote. “My stomach saved me.”