On Tuesday, November 30, a gunman terrorized Oxford High School in Oakland County, Michigan, killing four students and shooting 11 people total. The shooter was identified as Ethan Crumbley, and he was arrested and charged as an adult with four counts of First-Degree murder and terrorism. The motive remains unclear.
The victims have been identified as Hana St. Juliana, 14; Madisyn Baldwin, 17; Justin Shilling, 17; and Tate Myre, 16.
The shooting at Oxford High School marks the 29th school shooting in 2021, the 21st since the school year began in August 2021, according to Education Week. School shootings declined in numbers because of the pandemic and lack of students attending in-person school. However, the return of normalcy and in person school has come with a stark rise in school shootings since August.
The warning signs were ignored, as Crumbley showed a pattern of interest in guns and was pulled out of class the morning of the shooting for depicting violent illustrations of a gun and person wounded by gunshot surrounded by the words, “Blood everywhere,” and “The thoughts won’t stop. Help me.”
He was sent back to class with the gun in his pocket the entire time.
Current Villanova students in the Class of ‘22 and ‘23 have felt the fear of an unknown possible shooting threat first-hand. Despite later finding out there was no real danger, experiencing an active-shooter threat on Villanova’s campus in 2019 was nothing short of terrifying. Everyone that watched the rush of police vehicles and armored police enter St. Monica’s on South Campus was surely in shock as they decided what to do next. Is everyone okay? Should I call my parents? Should I barricade my room? As a generation, we are forced to ponder these questions during our years of schooling with active shooter drills. It is an unfortunate reality that we must go through these chilling drills, yet it is worth it to prevent tragedies like Oxford High School.
It is terrifying to think that something like this could happen to us on Villanova’s campus because of the lack of protective legislation in place. Despite the safety felt on Villanova’s campus, we see the impacts of a lack of gun reform costing students like us as close as Temple University last week. These tragedies can be prevented with the implementation of more gun control practices.
We’ve seen countless school shootings inevitably followed by calls for change from citizens by lawmakers, but this call has continually gone without answer. Despite continuous promises by politicians to initiate more protective measures towards guns, it feels like this legislation is repeatedly gridlocked and goes nowhere. In the meantime more students suffer and attend school everyday in fear that they are next.
The Villanovan wishes for peace for the families and friends of the victims, and we stand with students in calling for policy and change.