Flames of the Torch

October 28th, 2015

Editorial Board

23 shootings on college campuses in 2015 as of October.  

298 mass shooting incidents this year alone so far.

   Those sobering statistics, from the Washington Post and the Boston Globe respectively, speak of an unsettling trend.

   Seeing, reading or hearing a news story about campus shootings seems to be a frequent occurrence these days. Unfortunately, campuses ranging from elementary to college are under attack. From what, no one is sure.

There has been plenty of debate over whether the government should crack down on gun control or reform the mental health resources available to families and those with mental disorders. Some blame guns, others blame mental disorders and both sides blame politicians. This debate has gone on for too long as we sit idly by and continue to see one heartbreaking story after another about yet another campus shooting.

     As college students, we feel the topic is one that must be confronted, and soon. One shooting is one too many, and we are wondering when our nation will come to an agreement on the matter. Any loss of innocent life is one that can and should be prevented.

    Yes, citizens have the right to bear arms. But the issue of campus shootings goes beyond that. The use of guns in this case is not for self defense. What then is the reason? How can we better ensure that guns and other weapons aren’t used for harm in this way?

  Some say it’s mental disorders and maybe jilted feelings that motivate a shooter. If that’s the reason, then action should be taken to reform the situation surrounding the stigma and treatment of mental disorders in our nation. But let’s stop there, because health care reform is already a heated debate on its own.

    The government should devote more time to finding solutions to the problem. That is quite the loaded statement, but for example, the House Judiciary Committee could devote significant time to the question in order to find some sort of compromise and an answer.

    Here at St. John’s, we are constantly providing our own answer to that question. The campus is under the watch of Public Safety. Many students find the endless rules and regulations unbearable, but for many parents and even some students, Public Safety’s policies and day-to-day procedures around campus are a comfort.

   The department works hard behind the scenes to make sure students are informed and know what to do when situations arise. Read our story on campus shootings on page XXX to find out more about how Public Safety responded to threats of an active shooter on campus in 2007.

   The text message and phone alerts, the StormCard swipes at every turn and signing in your friends may be a pain, but in the long run, the policies in place on our campus make it a safe place for us to learn and continue our educationsomething that’s been taken away from too many too soon.