MSU isn’t just “Unthinkable”

Content Warning: The following viewpoint discusses topics of gun violence and school shootings
Mitchell Ecklund ’23

As a native of East Lansing, Michigan, I was deeply saddened to hear of the shooting at Michigan State University on Feb. 13. The shooting at Michigan State left three students dead and five injured after a gunman walked into Berkey Hall and opened fire into a classroom before leaving and targeting the MSU Union building. The campus that I grew up spending so much time on received a rude awakening that many communities throughout the country receive all too often. This, however, is not even the first mass killing that has affected this area, with the Bath School Disaster taking place just miles from Michigan State’s campus. Unfortunately, a young man that I know and attend church with was one of those who was shot and is currently in critical condition. “The Rock,” which usually serves as a billboard announcing upcoming events on campus, now asks the grim question: “How many more?” The statue of Sparty, Michigan State’s mascot, saw students and community members gather to leave flowers and grieve together. Michigan governor Gretchen Witmer, Michigan State president Teresa Woodruff and Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo spoke at a vigil for the victims in which Gov. Witmer promised gun reform. Since the shooting occurred, MSU students have gathered at the state capital building to protest gun violence and demand gun reform. Joining them at the capital was gun control activist David Hogg, who survived the Stoneman Douglas school shooting in 2019. Hogg criticized the inactivity of legislators stating, “The reality is this, what we are doing right now as a country is not working. The cycle of endless debate – inaction – is not working.” My heart breaks for my community; after all, this is my home, and even though it hits harder because this community is near and dear to my heart, the sad reality is that this won’t be the last school shooting and a year from now most won’t remember the shooting that happened here.

I hear far too often that these shootings are “unthinkable,” but how can something be unthinkable if they happen all the time?

Mitchell Eklund ’23

America will move on to mourn for the next community that suffers a mass shooting and will forget about what happened here. But why do we accept that as the case? Are we so desensitized to gun violence that we have just come to accept it as another part of life? I hear far too often that these shootings are “unthinkable,” but how can something be unthinkable if they happen all the time? Like many of you, I have grown up my whole life watching as children around the country are killed in places of learning. Unfortunately, we live in a society where we must constantly worry about being the victim of the next school shooting. No matter how you believe the problem of school shootings should be solved, there is only one way that change can come: the vote. The right to vote is a powerful thing, and if the change is going to come, it will have to be with the younger generation that has seen kids – just like themselves – killed around the country. So I implore you, reader, to go out and vote for the change you want to see in the world. 

I would like to take a moment to remember the victims Brian Fraser, Alexandria Verner and Arielle Anderson, and to remind my community and my home that we are Spartan Strong.

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