The tragic shooting last week at a community college in Roseburg, Oregon, left 10 dead and nine wounded. It also left students everywhere questioning their safety at school. Something everyone should be able to agree on with President Obama is that mass shootings have become routine, and that can’t continue.
Mass shootings seem to be happening more often, but there are conflicting numbers because there are no fixed criteria on how many people must be killed or injured before an incident is called a mass shooting. The Washington Post blog and the Boston Globe both reported there have been 294 mass shootings this year, which is more than one per day. The data on school and college-specific incidents is a little harder to track.
In the last two years, there have been 94 school shootings and 45 of those took place on college campuses, according to the organization Everytown Research.
A 2014 study conducted by the FBI found 24 percent of active shooter situations between 2010 and 2013 occurred at schools, second only to places of commerce, such as malls or other businesses.
Campuses, whether they are K-12 or institutes of higher education, are supposed to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas before students enter the working world. We’re supposed to be protected so that we can have the freedom to explore new ideas while we grow as people. In an educational environment, fear is detrimental to that very process.
What do we have to do to feel safe at school again? Do we need to close campus? Do we need metal detectors and random checks by gun-sniffing dogs?
We don’t want to report those kinds of stories, and we certainly don’t want to worry that our school could be next. But rather than add another voice to the national yelling match over gun control, we want to prepare our university. Faculty members undergo suggested A.L.I.C.E. training (short for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate) to teach them how to handle active shooter situations.
Officially, it is mandatory for all freshmen in the residence halls to undergo A.L.I.C.E. training. But some current freshmen have told The Daily Aztec they have not taken A.L.I.C.E. training. Plus, freshmen only constitute a small percentage of the campus population.
We’re calling on the university administration to follow through with mandatory training for all members of the SDSU community, including students of all ages, so they may learn what to do in case such a tragedy ever strikes on our campus. We don’t need another protest or gun debate, but we do need to be taught what it takes to survive.