On March 31, 2014, I debated skipping my management class to go to Opening Day at Camden Yards. I love baseball and the Orioles were playing the Boston Red Sox, one of my favorite teams. Although I would’ve loved to go, I decided to show up for my class early to get some homework done. I should’ve gone to the game.
It was almost 2:30 p.m. and I found myself locked in a closet on the bottom floor of the Brown School of Business and Leadership. This was the day an active shooter was reported on campus.
Thankfully, no one was hurt and the “active shooter” warning turned out to be false. Having been on campus during that time, I find this experience extremely humbling. This was Stevenson’s first lockdown and shelter-in-place incident; however, this is nothing new.
Growing up, I became interested in the incidents that occurred at Columbine High School, Virginia Tech, and Sandy Hook Elementary. These school shootings and gun-related incidents are frightening and shocking. While writing this editorial, I learned that in the last 72 hours that 225 gun-related incidents have occurred in the United States. Why does this keep happening?
I travelled to Amherst, Mass. last Thursday, Feb. 18 to attend and present at a conference in the area. Upon arriving, I learned of a campus alert explaining there was a “hostile armed person” on the University of Massachusetts – Amherst (UMass) campus. Immediately, my mind raced and I found my brain clouded with the information I recalled from these incidents. Ultimately, the suspect was apprehended and arrested.
I think all parties involved have responded appropriately. In my opinion, these tragedies happen so often across our nation. University officials should not question whether or not they are overreacting, as I now know that the priority is to keep people unharmed and protected.
The incidents I have experienced have been isolated and there was no loss of life. The universities and campus officials responded swiftly, reviewed the information they obtained, and kept these populations safe. Thank you for that, Stevenson and UMass.
Still, I cannot help by wonder why this keeps happening. Why do individuals in our society resort to violence? What occurs to make an individual bring a gun to school? Why aren’t there resources for these individuals? Why is there a stigma? Why?