Editorial: What are we supposed to do?

Eight students, three of which were killed with the remaining five in critical condition or intensive care, were victims of a mass shooting at Michigan State University last week. Two were killed with five others critically wounded inside of their classroom where the shooting began, another shot and killed in a separate campus building minutes later.

Arielle Anderson, Alexandria Verner and Brian Fraser were the three students killed in the shooting on Monday night. Students John Hao, who is now paralyzed from the chest down, and Guadalupe Huapilla-Perez are the only two of the five critically wounded victims whose names have been released.

The term “mass shooting” has become a part of weekly rhetoric in the United States, and the overwhelming statistics are trending toward the hundreds just a month and a half into 2023.

Since the start of the year, over 70 mass shootings have occurred in the nation. Between Feb. 13-19 alone, at least 14 people were killed with over 59 wounded in mass shootings that occurred at MSU, Arkabutla, Mississippi and as recently as early Sunday morning in Memphis, Tennessee.

Mass shootings continue to be a norm in society. The U.S. is in a cycle where a mass shooting occurs, millions that aren’t physically involved (if at all) share thoughts and prayers, calling for more gun control flares up on social media and then silence until the next shooting.

In this editorial board’s lifetime, a mass shooting has occurred at every level of education (elementary school to college). “Run, hide, fight,” is the course of action students are expected to take whenever a mass shooting occurs on campus as mandatory lockdown drills throughout primary and even secondary schooling have been the common theme in American school districts. Instead of focusing on their education and their social lives, students are also expected to live with the constant fear and anxiety of “this could be our school next.”

However, the laws or restrictions of purchasing guns, more specifically semi-automatic rifles, have appeared to remain stagnant. Students, and even civilians, are far too desensitized to an American-based epidemic that lawmakers and politicians alike are seemingly brushing off with each instance.

The MSU shooting hits far too close to home. How many more senseless acts of violence have to happen before a change is made? As college students, we grieve with our peers at MSU and anybody affected by a mass shooting. 

However, we’re angry, tired and confused at the fact that innocent lives are being lost in senseless acts of violence while seemingly nothing is done to stop it. As college students, we should not be expected to come up with the solution(s) to this prolonged issue. We need legislation and action, not just thoughts and prayers.