October 12, 2015

No more senseless killings, please

opinion

We faced a potential mass shooting on yet another college campus two weeks ago—Eastern Kentucky University. College campuses seem like prime locations for tragedies like these to happen nowadays, with their minimal armed security, a wide open space with many buildings and thousands of students walking around freely in between classes.

Eastern Kentucky University became the next potential stage for another terrible. An unknown idiot wrote “KILL ALL BY 10-8-15, BU OOP” on the wall of a bathroom in the Powell Building at the heart of the campus. These threats cannot be taken lightly, because the intent behind the threat can be very real.

As a result, all classes were canceled after Oct. 7 for the remainder of the week, and students fled back to their hometowns—just to be safe. Authorities are doing the best that they can in order to find the person behind the graffiti and threat and even offered a $10,000 reward to anyone willing to come forth with useful information.

This threat surfaced days after the Umpqua shooting, and authorities are more than willing to react to anything, especially a death threat. Many EKU officials and students believe these are “copycat threats,” in which a sick person mimics what they hear from the media, hoping to be immortalized by the media like other killers. In a sense, the majority of these cowardly killers tend to view themselves as martyrs, and they believe that whatever they are doing is for the greater good.

Within a week, a few more incidents popped up on or around college campuses across the nation. One incident at an off campus apartment near Texas Southern University left one student dead and another injured. Another incident occurred right down the road at the JCTC campus on Eighth and Chestnut. Shots were fired, but thankfully no one was hurt. At Northern Arizona University, a fraternity pledge got into an altercation for four members from another fraternity. They fought, Jones lost, and he ran  to his car and grabbed a gun, where he commenced to fire upon all involved, killing one and injuring the other three.

All of these instances are not mass shootings, but they still confirm that it’s incredibly too easy to for anyone obtain a gun and easier for malicious individuals to use them on innocents.

The media spits the names over and over until they’re drilled into your skull, and you remember their faces forever. The media ignores the fact that this is exactly what the killers want. They want you to say their names, to monumentalize whatever they have done by talking about it and hearing about their lives as much as possible. They were nobody before, then the whole world knows who they are and what they’ve done. They are hated by most, but admired by very few.

If only we would shift our media’s focus and never mention their names. What if we only recognize and appreciate the victims of the tragedy and never give the perpetrators the everlasting fame they’re seeking? Maybe, just maybe, it will discourage other swine from attacking innocents, for they would have nothing to gain but prison or death.

Mass shootings could happen anywhere, at any time. With a potential massacre looming over a university in our own state, it’s easy to understand it could happen to someone you know, or even on our campus.

If you happen to see or hear of anything near you that could potentially be dangerous to our family at U of L—or anywhere at that—let someone know. Don’t keep it to yourself if you could prevent a disaster and save lives.

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