In light of recent events at Michigan State University, students across the country are scared for their safety.
On Feb. 13, 43-year-old gunman Anthony Dwayne McRae opened fire on Michigan State students in two different buildings.
It raises the question, what could have been done to prevent this?
When attending a public university, the campus is completely open to the community and anyone else who wants a taste of the college experience.
Montclair State University students have had their fair share of encounters with non-students. Whether it’s religious protestors, people walking their adorable dogs or someone spreading their agenda with pamphlets, it is clear anyone could be here at any time.
Most school shooters are students themselves who target their peers. But the latest tragedy at Michigan State shows that anyone could be a threat.
How are students supposed to feel safe on such an open campus? How are students supposed to go about their lives when at any given moment a catastrophe can occur?
Montclair State Police Chief Kieran Barrett offered some insight into the safety measures and crisis response plans put into place in case of an emergency.
“The university is prepared and has comprehensive plans for a multitude of crisis situations, including incidents of an active shooter on campus,” Barrett said. “Our plans include, among many other aspects, rapid response from police both on and off campus, family reunification, counseling, and additional services to students and the community.”
Barrett continued to explain the police department’s threat analysis and training drills that the police department do to ensure our safety.
While it’s reassuring to know that the police are on top of things when it comes to a threat to campus, it doesn’t resolve all of our fear completely.
According to Business Insider, the AR-15 is described to be “designed to inflict what one of its designers called ‘maximum wound effect. AR-15s have a higher muzzle velocity than some other rifles and bullets leaving them at such a fast speed — nearly three times the speed of sound — cause more damage to bones and organs.”
In most states in the United States of America, citizens are legally allowed to own an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle when they turn eighteen.
Teenagers who aren’t legally allowed to drink, rent a car, book a hotel room or gamble at casinos are legally allowed to own semi-automatic rifles. The same semi-automatic rifles that have claimed countless lives.
Massacres in Uvalde, Texas and Buffalo, New York were carried out with AR-15 variants.
Standard semi-automatic AR-15s can fire up to 45 rounds per minute. A modified AR-15 can shoot up to 400 rounds per minute.
Jay Andersen of the Minnesota Reformer wrote a piece on why these weapons should be banned.
“The AR-15 is in no way meant for hunting or ‘sport.'” Andersen wrote. “It’s meant to kill people. Lots of people all at once.”
What can the police do if a shooter comes onto campus and opens fire with the possibility of 20-something people being shot in under a minute?
It’s reassuring to know that plans are put into place in case of an event like this. But what are we supposed to do for the couple of minutes it takes for police to assemble and get to where the crisis is?
We cannot and will not be safe until our country’s leaders do something about the mass shooting epidemic we are facing.
Nobody wants to take your pistols, shotguns or hunting rifles from you. However, we as a country cannot be selling AR-15s to regular citizens. Those are weapons of war, not a trip to the supermarket.
Students are petrified that their school could be next. At this rate, it’s almost a matter of time until someone is subjected to being in a mass shooting.
It’s time to make a change and pass stricter gun laws so we can live in peace.
This needs to be changed, now.