The Phoenix Editorial Staff reflects on the shooting at Michigan State University Feb. 13.
Content warning: Gun violence, school shooting, suicide
In May, The Phoenix published an opinion piece about how 948 school shootings had taken place since the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in 2012. In December, we ran a story detailing Loyola’s “Run, Hide, Fight” plan.
The first article was in response to the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas that left 19 students and two teachers dead, according to the Associated Press (AP). The second referred to the shooting at the University of Virginia where three football players were killed after a field trip.
On Monday night, three students were killed and five were wounded on the campus of Michigan State University (MSU), according to AP. The 43-year-old gunman killed himself after a three-hour manhunt, according to their report.
And we’re writing another story.
These articles have begun to feel redundant. Journalists and citizens across the country have called for gun law reform and sent their condolences to those directly affected. And that is important. Laws need to change. People need to feel supported.
But these stories shouldn’t have to be written. And students shouldn’t have to be living through this.
Gunshots were heard inside Berkey Hall — MSU’s social sciences building. Shots were then reported at the MSU Union building. Approximately 15 minutes later, students received a “Run, Hide, Fight” alert issued by university police, according to AP.
The threat of school shootings has become a constant in students’ lives, and while it can often sit in the back of our minds, events like this remind us of the reality we face.
For at least two students at MSU, this wasn’t their first school shooting.
Jaqueline Matthews lived through the Sandy Hook shooting and again found herself worried for her life, according to AP. Jennifer Mancini said her daughter — a first-year at MSU — attended Oxford High School in southeastern Michigan when four students were shot and killed in November 2021, according to AP.
At the time of writing this article, there have been three mass shootings in America since the one at MSU, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
The perpetual nature of mass and school shootings go hand-in-hand, and it’s inevitable those won’t be the last.
This could have been Loyola. This could have been Cuneo Hall. These could have been our phones receiving a campus-wide emergency alert.
We’ve said it before and we will likely say it again, but without tangible and effective gun law reform, nothing will change.
Featured image courtesy of Michigan State University, designed by Austin Hojdar