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Student Body Encourages Taking Action After Recent Mass Shootings

by Francis Churchill

With gun violence on high debate throughout the country, this summer in particular brought an alarming number of mass shootings.

To mention a few, a disgruntled former Walmart employee in Southaven, Mississippi opened fire in his previous workplace, killing two, on July 30. On Aug. 3, there was another mass shooting inside of a Walmart located in El Paso, Texas where 22 people died. Less than a full 24 hours after the shooting in El Paso, another mass shooting occurred in Dayton, Ohio in which 10 people died.

With the average distances between days of a mass shooting in 2019 being 13 days, 94 people were killed in August alone by mass shootings, the highest during a month this year.

Many are asking what can and should be done to stop these horrific tragedies. The students of Montclair State have shared their thoughts on the shooting.

“As a student, I hope that something can be done and something good comes out of the action undertaken by people in power to stop this horrific violence,” Michael Wong, a sophomore philosophy major, said.

When asked whether people such as the Dayton, Ohio shooter, Connor Betts, should be able to own and modify a handgun to have a magazine capacity of 100 rounds, Junior business major Juan Galvez expressed his concerns.

“They shouldn’t be allowed honestly,” Galvez said. “Of course there’s already an examination to own a weapon, but also to prevent further modification of the weapon.”

Freshman Nicholas DeRienzo, who has a concentration in business analytics, commented on how the El Paso shooting was motivated by racial hatred.


In 2018, students gathered in front of the School of Communication and Media building to speak out against gun violence.
Ben Caplan | The Montclarion Photo credit: Ben Caplan

“I think that these shooters are the reasons we need red flag laws,” DeRienzo said. “If we know said person is dangerous, full of hate and has access to weapons, we need to do our best to make sure we can prevent hate crimes like these from happening.”

Another topic he touched upon was people in today’s culture have become accustomed to this senseless violence.

“It’s surreal to me,” DeRienzo said. “The fact is that it’s natural for people to get used to it, but they need to make sure they still care and to know that you still have a voice, an opinion and can make a difference.”

The Montclair State Student Government Association (SGA) commented on the recent national tragedies.

“The recent mass shootings are truly upsetting,” said SGA Secretary Sharese Sumter. “We as the SGA encourage our organizations to speak on issues that [have] affected a community in order to provide their general body members a safe space to share their emotions and thoughts on devastating events such as these.”

Sumter further mentioned an upcoming active shooter training session run by the University Police Department (UPD) that is being organized by the SGA, “in order to decrease any uneasiness one might feel due to the shootings.”


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