News of the shooting at the University of Texas spread like wildfire. People seem to hold onto the memories and news of school shootings very tightly as they strike right at the hearts of many of us, with family and friends dispersed throughout the schools of America. Because of this the shooting which took place early Tuesday, September 28th will bring up sentiments of the prior infamous Texas shooting, the Virginia shooting and Columbine. These being some of the most notorious. Unlike the others this instance lead to no deaths other than the gunman’s as he ran firing wildly and then took his own life inside the library.
The most recent of college campus shootings comes to mind as being the Virginia Tech shooting. It was in this instance that we saw the devastation of a gun fired openly in a classroom. It was April 16, 2007 and 32 people were killed by the gunman before he also turned the weapon on himself. The campus did not notify students until almost two hours after the first shooting. It was one of the deadliest school shootings ever and it might not ever have happened if the Virginia Tech had notified its students sooner and locked down the campus (CSMonitor). While the entirety of the U.T. shooting is not yet understood, the response to it may certainly be called rapid. The campus was locked down and the police were looking for an alleged second shooter with no reported deaths or injuries after the first gunman’s death. Despite both of these occurrences being on college campuses the truth of the matter is that they seem drastically different. The U.T. shooter was reported to have been firing off an AK-47 wildly before killing himself in the library, where as at Virginia Tech the shooter very intently fired upon students. It is because of this major difference in death toll that I believe the U.T. Shooting will more readily pass from our minds than other such morbid occasions.
As always with issues involving shootings the greater America will rise up into two divisions, one for guns and one against. While I myself am personally for them I do understand the dangers of their possession and though one can make a mutually assured destruction like argument here. I do not believe that we can appropriately compare the idea of guns prevent violence to nukes prevent violence. With one issue we are looking at nation verses nation in which a number of people heavily way their opinion for or against the use of nuclear weapons because the deployment of one may have ramifications so far stretching that it may very well devastate mankind. On the level of the lone shooter we have the single, likely insane, person who as is often seen is not deterred by the thought of death. So then we have to ask ourselves, do we believe that the average civilian carrying a gun will be trained well enough to in the instance of a firefight breaking out be able to take down the shooter and prevent further deaths without becoming part of the problem and potentially bringing about more casualties? These are all just more sides to the coin that our nation must consider as we look back on yet another school shooting. It must be said that though it is horrible to have such things occur, we can at least have some comfort in the fact that the responses to the situations are faster and better than ever before. We have learned from our past and so perhaps will only continue to make schools and universities faster by reacting appropriately to the situation.