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The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Main Point: This is not normal

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The Main Point is an opinion written collectively by The University Star’s Editorial Board. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of our entire publication.

 

Two weeks ago, 19 students and two teachers were killed during a shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. At the time of writing this editorial, there have been 33 mass shootings in the U.S. since then, leaving dozens killed or wounded and millions wondering when the cycle will end.

Although we may offer our support to the grieving communities in the form of thoughts and prayers or blood and money donations, our response does not lead to meaningful change without productive government action.  

Legislators at both the federal and state level talk in circles about school safety and mental health, and these are important topics to consider. However, we believe these conversations deter from the fact that no place is seemingly sacred. 

If we have learned anything from America’s long history of gun violence, it is that tragedies like the ones that occurred in Uvalde at an elementary school, Tulsa at a hospital and Buffalo at a supermarket can happen anywhere, at any time. 

After Uvalde, our state leaders once again called for solutions such as arming teachers and installing bullet proof windows. However, with an understanding that the venue for these acts of violence is not limited to schools, there must come a point when we stop blaming frivolous causes and start focusing on the common denominator in all of these cases: the gun. 

From our earliest days of schooling, we are drilled on how to stay safe if a gunman were to enter our school. We are trained to hide under desks in a dark classroom and to remain silent. After 12 years of these drills, we who attend university find ourselves in unfamiliar water. 

We attend classes in unlocked buildings with classroom doors that are often propped open. Upon entering teaching theaters, we take note of exits in the event we would need to escape. Similarly, Americans find themselves routing exits in malls, movie theaters, hospitals and concert venues. This is not normal.

 It is clear to us that gun access and restrictions play a large part in the prevalence of gun violence in the U.S. Research by one of our University Star editors shows that when comparing accumulated data of school shooting location since 2010 to the populations of each state, the deep south, where the attitude toward gun restrictions is largely laissez faire, is shown to have the greatest ratio of school shootings per capita. Alternatively, states in the northeast have had little to no school shootings in the past decade. These states are largely characterized by advocacy for gun restrictions.

Our editorial board is horrified that gun violence in the U.S. has become such a common issue. Parents should not be afraid to drop off their kids at school and students should not have doubts about their safety in the classroom. No one should have to worry about getting shot every time they step outside of their home.

We understand that the repetitiveness of the words “mass shooting” being in the news can lead to feelings of numbness and hopelessness. We know that some people may begin to dismiss this kind of news since it happens so often. As student journalists and members of the editorial board who often do not have the option to look the other way, we urge those people to keep paying attention. 

Some members of our own Texas State community experienced their own devastation when the Uvalde shooting happened. Like them and like you, members of our board have loved ones who attend and teach in public schools. Just because you are not directly affected by such a tragedy, that does not mean those close to you and around you feel the same.

Although we do not report directly from the sources of these events, we start our own discussions with you, our readers and the students of Texas State, to listen to what you have to say on the matter. 

We know that other members of our university community feel the same frustrations and fears we do. We understand that there is not one quick solution to America’s gun violence problem, but we are convinced that some form of action and gun regulation is long overdue.

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