Ten Killed in Santa Fe School Shooting

A mourner stands at the memorial for the 10 victims (Washington Post)

A mourner stands at the memorial for the 10 victims (Washington Post)

Stephanie Robinson, Contributing Writer

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On Friday, May 18th, an armed student walked into Santa Fe High School and opened
fire, killing 10 students and faculty members and injuring at least 13 others. The grave news rocked the Santa Fe community and all of the country.

Police identified the gunman as 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis. He entered the school at around 7:40 AM and proceeded to the school’s interconnected art classrooms before opening fire. The weapons he used were legally registered to Pagourtzis’ father.

Within minutes, law enforcement, including the school’s resource officer, arrived. For several minutes before his surrender, Pagourtzis exchanged fire with officers while the school was evacuated. Later, police found several pipe bombs and explosives in and around the school.

Of the ten victims, eight of them were under the age of 18, and two were beloved substitute teachers at Santa Fe High School. As with all school shootings, the public mourns the death of such young victims with so much life ahead of them.

But, considering the 22 other school shootings thus far in 2018 and the dozens of deaths that occurred, these individuals can feel just like another statistic—cold, impersonal, and decisive.

Junior Billy Johnson commented on this, explaining, “I hope the stories of the 10 victims don’t get lost in the seemingly endless stream of new ones.”

It is not that the public doesn’t care about these victims or sympathise with their families, but with so many deaths it is too easy to forget each individual’s personal story.

Desensitization today primarily stems from the frequency of these horrific events. School shootings have steadily increased since the year 2000, and in 2018 alone dozens of school-age kids have died from guns in school. This graphic and tragic horror has become the new status quo: a new week, a new shooting.

Junior Lydia Gross expressed that “no one is even paying attention to [the shooting].”

In the modern world, a shooting garners attention proportionally to the victim count. Without a big enough shock factor, a shooting simply isn’t the most breaking news.

Junior Catharine Denning recounted, “I saw an interview with a girl [from Santa Fe High School] and she was not surprised [by the events] and that was really sad to me. That hit me the most, that it was no longer a surprise.”

Students around the country are no longer surprised by school shootings. Denning even added that “I would not even be surprised if something happened in our school.”

Students no longer feel safe in their own classrooms. Regardless of the security at a school, there is always a possibility that someone could enter with a weapon. Some believe this indicates a need for stronger gun control legislation, while others believe this is a failure of public schools to address bullying and mental illness.

Recently, HHS students addressed their concern both through a nationwide school walkout in protest of legislators’ inaction in response to calls for stronger gun control and through round table discussions about gun control on the local and federal level.

Despite these democratic actions and discussions, the slaughter continues throughout the country. No student should have to witness classmates violently die in their own school, and no student should feel afraid to go to school. Legislators, politicians, and local governments need to be willing to take strong action to combat this ever growing problem, because no child deserves to die.

List of victims and their ages:
Aaron Kyle McLeod-15
Angelique Ramirez-15

Kimberly Vaughan-14

Cynthia Tisdale-63

Sabika Sheikh-17

Chris Stone-17
Jared Black-17
Shana Fisher-16
Glenda Ann Perkins-64

Christian Riley Garcia-15

 

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