Santa Fe, Texas Shooting: We Mourn Your Loss

Updated: Sep 4, 2019

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Twenty-three… so far this year there have been twenty-three mass shooting events. And we are in May-not even halfway through 2018. School shootings are becoming so frequent it almost seems like the next big trendy movement. Sadly, that is not far from the truth. Ever since Columbine, school shootings have been scarily similar to this landmark tragedy. They have become a sort of subculture like rape and gang violence. And with the move into trendiness, sadly, the shooters are less and less recognizable. Instead of obviously disturbed psychopaths, school shooters could be the nice guy in your chemistry class that just happened to experience a bout of teenage depression last year. But who hasn’t? Depression is also normal, especially in teens.

As we analyze the tragic shooting of Santa Fe High School in Texas, let us keep these facts in mind. Sadly, the school shooter was just a normal kid. Parents, teachers, and friends all vouched for that. Other than a bout of depression during the previous months, there was no sign that this 17-year-old was unstable or psychopathic. Along with his relative normalcy as a teenager, he seemed to have little true motivation to create such devastation. Some have said that a breakup may have been a cause, but ultimately, what teenager has not gone through a tough breakup. What made this kid go crazy? We don’t know. But what we do know is that there seems to be a trend in school shootings to need less and less true motivation to do something drastic. And that is downright scary.

While we cannot necessarily tag the push behind the shooter in Santa Fe, Texas, we can applaud Santa Fe High School for taking steps to reduce the damage he caused. According to an article by CNN discussing the story of student Isabelle Laymance during the shooting, she knew what to do when the shooter entered her classroom. While we mourn the tragic loss of the ten lives the shooter took, imagine how many more he could have taken had these students not known how to react. Given the options they had, the students did the best they could. Santa Fe High School’s students were prepared, and I am sure that many of them are still alive today because of that training and preparation.

Santa Fe High School won a statewide award for its safety program, providing their students with an active shooter plan and hiring two armed police officers to patrol the hallways. Santa Fe High School, we mourn your loss, but we applaud your strength and preparation. While lives were tragically lost, we rejoice in the lives of those who were saved. May other schools learn from this example and prepare. Are your students and teachers prepared?

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