Is there anything left to say?
This is not the post I'd intended to write this week, and to be honest, I debated on whether or not to write it at all. This is not because I don't care about incidents like these and the people harmed as a result. No, rather, I debated on it, because I wasn't really sure what else I could add to the discussion--what there is of it. I feel like this time, as opposed to the Parkland incident, there has been less attention paid, and that people have started to just accept that these types of incidents are part of doing business in America. Of course there have to be other things going on that I know nothing about. Before I go there, though, here are the incidents from this past week. I'm not going to go into how these should be categorized. Only one is a mass shooting. The others are not, but did occur on school campuses and involved students.
- Dixon, Illinois--A student kicked off football team, was subdued by School Resource Officer and captured.
- Santa Fe, Texas--A student killed ten other students. Was captured and has confessed.
- Jonesboro, Georgia--An argument in the parking lot after a graduation. Two arrests have been made (no details released)
The story from Illinois, I feel, has gotten probably the least coverage out of these three. The Georgia is pretty close, though I think because the assailant(s) got away and had to be tracked down, there was more. Santa Fe. TX seems to be picking up some steam, now that the Royal Wedding is over. But the activism seen after Parkland may not appear with Sante Fe High, because Texas is pro-gun, and staunchly Republican. In a New York Times article, a high school senior is quoted, "The violence was not 'a political issue,' [...] explaining to reporters afterward that schools needed to be safer but restricting the availability of guns was not the way to achieve it" (NYTimes May 20). What the article brings home, is that different places in America react differently to these shootings. Another interview with a survivor in the New Yorker has a similar tone.
One thing that did trouble me profoundly was the tone of inevitability that some of the students had regarding shootings. One said to CNN, "It's been happening everywhere, I felt that eventually it was going to happen here too" (CNN May 18) . The transcript below comes from an interview with the family of Chris Stone:
EXERPT FROM TRANSCRIPT--Weekend Edition, May 20
[...] So let us now remember Christopher Jake Stone, a husky 17-year-old junior who played center for the Santa Fe Indians. Students say Chris and another boy blocked the door to prevent the shooter from entering the art classroom. The gunman reportedly shot through a glass door and hit Chris Stone in the chest. [...] After the school massacre in Parkland, Fla., in February, his mother asked her son what he would do if there was an active shooter at his high school. He told her, if I couldn't escape, I would do everything I could to slow the shooter down and save students" (NPR, May 20).
Chris Stone is a hero, but why should kids have to be heroes like that in a school? It makes no sense to me. And when it comes to how the Santa Fe High School community is choosing to deal with this on the national/international stage, it most definitely strikes a different tone than what we may normally expect when something like this happens. I would be surprised to see the Parkland survivors and the Santa Fe survivors collaborating on any major advocacy work. Then again, I could be wrong.