A masked gunman wearing all black opened fire on the University of Texas at Austin on Sept. 28, 2010. The gunman wound up injuring no one, but committed suicide on the sixth floor of the main library, according to the Los Angeles Times. The gunman has not been identified yet but is known to be a University of Texas student. Many eyewitnesses came forward and said that the gunman didn’t look like he was out to injure anyone, as he just shot at the ground. A motive has not yet been established. Classes were canceled for the rest of the day.
This shooting immediately brought back memories of the Virginia Tech shooting that happened in 2007. The high profile of both of these colleges remains the only connecting factor between the shootings. But, even though no one was injured in the UT shooting, it still is going to haunt the students of that campus for a long time to come.
The Virginia Tech shooting happened on April 16, 2007, by Seung-Hui Cho. He killed 33 people, including himself. The shooting rampage went in two shifts, one in the morning as students were going to class and the other over two hours later, according to The New York Times. The rest of the massacre happened in Norris Hall, a building full of classrooms. This was the deadliest campus shooting since the other University of Texas shooting in 1966, where 14 people were killed, according to The News of Today. The Virginia Tech shooting was done by a student who had a history of mental instability and should have been treated before he became violent and opened fire on UT.
Because of the Virginia Tech shootings, the American public started to have this feeling that no one was safe anywhere. A parent sending his children to college is a milestone for many families. Parents are sending their kids out into this world that is not fully the real world yet, but is a step in giving their kids total freedom. But when shootings happen at a place where kids are supposed to be protected, it feels like there is no place that is safe anymore.
This was reiterated when the University of Texas shooting happened, that the world is a cruel place, and made parents everywhere stop and think that, if they had the choice, they would choose to keep their children home where they could protect them from evil. Even though no one was injured, seeing a masked gunman running and hearing gunshots is enough for any student to be scared. The University of Texas shooting will be remembered as a reminder that bad things could happen anywhere, at anytime. It will also be remembered as a shooting that could have been much worse.
Richard Fausset, Nicole Santa Cruz, “Student opens fire at University of Texas, then kills himself” Los Angeles Times
Christine Hauser, “Virginia Tech Shooting Leaves 33 Dead” The New York Times
Timothy Warren, “University of Texas (UT) Shooting Reminds us of Shooter Charles Whitman” The News of Today