Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Letter from the editor: When will guns become less important than students’ lives?

Courtesy of Tyler Hogan, 1956 Magazine

This fall, colleges across the country will partake in homecoming festivities. Students, parents and alumni come together to celebrate each other and life at the college they attend.   

But, for some, homecoming looked vastly different.   

On the night of Oct. 8, two students were shot at Bowie State University in Prince George’s County, Maryland in the midst of the university’s homecoming celebration. 

This happened five days after five students were shot 45 minutes away at Morgan State University on Oct. 3. Following the shooting, all homecoming activities were canceled. 

“This was such a senseless act of violence perpetrated on our community after what was a family-filled and fun evening of celebrating the pageantry and beauty of our students,” Morgan State University president David K. Wilson wrote in a statement following the shooting. “But Morgan is a strong family and we will march on with determination to keep moving on.”  

A time meant for bonding a community further together was instead spent in mourning. Once again, lives were permanently changed. A campus was changed, and once again, there’s little hope that true change will come.  

 While these events aren’t connected, they underscore a deeply rooted problem in the U.S. — a lack of gun control.  

 Mass shootings have, unfortunately, become a microcosm of American society. A shooting occurs, people mourn, there are cries for gun reform, gun reform doesn’t come and the cycle restarts. 

A constant, vicious cycle that only continues to happen because people in public office in the U.S. have made this one thing clear; guns will always be more important than peoples’ lives.   

Some leaders in the U.S. have made efforts to unite a campus’ community after a shooting has occurred. In Florida, governor Ron DeSantis directed $1.1 million toward campus security at Edward Waters University and funds for the victims’ families following a shooting at a local Dollar General. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement started visiting the campus, monitoring social media for threats and working with the university to assess its security. 

Following the shooting at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, North Carolina governor Ron Cooper stated that the state would provide support to the institution and chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz would offer counseling services for the campus.  

These steps are decent measures, but in the grand scheme of life in the U.S., these measures address the symptoms of a problem, not the root cause.  

While attacks on higher education campuses are somewhat rare, hard to define and not tracked, that doesn’t mean they don’t happen. Furthermore, it shouldn’t mean that we should continue to sit idly by while peoples’ lives are constantly ripped away needlessly. 

Until this country truly and effectively addresses the gun control problem it has, it tells its citizens that the access to guns and weapons of mass destruction are always more important than their safety. This country is telling students across the country that they don’t deserve the peace of mind at school they so desperately want.  

My heart aches for the victims of the Morgan State and Bowie State shootings. Those campuses will never be the same after this. It’s times like this where we feel the most helpless, wondering if there is anything we as citizens can truly do.  

But it shouldn’t have to be up to us.  

The leaders we elect need to step in and ensure a safe and protected learning environment. Otherwise, the violent cycle will continue to permeate all aspects of our lives.

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