Shootings becoming too common

Henri Robbins | Online Editor

Just the other day, I heard that a student at my old high school had been arrested for bringing a loaded handgun onto the campus. The story goes that he ran away from home and decided to spend his nights in a mall, but felt so unsafe that he brought the gun with him for protection. 

Of course, I don’t know how true this story is; there have been no solid police reports as of yet, and I’m over 100 miles away from the school, so it’s not like I could find out easily, but the fact that this story is so believable in this day and age, that someone can be so fearful for their life that they bring a gun with them everywhere, is absolutely tragic. When I first heard the story, I didn’t question it at all. I took it all as fact, and I, along with everyone else being told, fully believed it. That wasn’t without cause. The final year of middle school, well before I moved to Mason, a student threatened to shoot up the school. This all felt normal. 

There wasn’t anything absurd about it to me or anyone else. When I had to testify in court, when they tossed around talk of restraining orders, when I walked around the school in fear for the next week, it all felt normal. When half of Mason’s student body was gone after someone wrote threats on the bathroom stall, it wasn’t anything new — the same thing happened in grade school, and it felt the same way. It was just routine, nothing more. Every time there’s a story about a school shooting, from the multiple last year to the most recent at a football game in Alabama, it had just become a way of life. It wasn’t breaking news, it wasn’t headlines, it wasn’t the feature of the nightly news, it was just something else to brush under the carpet. 

And that’s not an outlier, it’s a consistent pattern. Some angry kid finds a gun, shoots their classmates, and the cops apprehend him. His name gets out, it’s publicized, and eventually some of them even come close to household names. Some students talk, try to make change, but get stamped out by indifferent and negligent politicians, backed by their swarms of rabid followers. It becomes a perpetual loop, a national case of cognitive dissonance, fueled by willful ignorance and conceited corporate desire. 

It shouldn’t be, though. Students shouldn’t have to live in fear. Life shouldn’t get to a point where these stories are believable.