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University of Arkansas, Virginia Tech, Louisiana Tech College, Northern Illinois University, U. of Central Arkansas, Hampton U., Harvard, Skyline College, U. of Alabama Huntsville, U. of South California, Chicago State U. and U. of Central Florida: These are all colleges that have experienced a shooting since 1999, the year the infamous Columbine High School tragedy occurred.
On April 20, 1999, in Columbine, Colorado, two teenage boys opened fire on students at the local high school. April 20 is now famous for being a day that University of Colorado Boulder students use to smoke weed in public. But this “vacation” day was originally a release from school to prevent copycat shooters from carrying out similar atrocities on middle, high, and college students.
EverytownResearch.com has a map of every location that has experienced a school shooting since 2013. In total, there are 153 location flags since the Oregon shooting on October 1, 2013. This means that at least 153 individuals have attacked innocent people in educational establishments: a shocking average of one shooting a week.
A quick look through Google in search of explanation for these violent outbursts yields a variety of results. Troubled individuals and broken homes are apparently common factors in what creates a shooter. There is criticism of the media for the way it reports the brutal act itself. There are also many conspiracy theories formed around the subject.
Principia’s packing list tells students not to bring weapons of any kind. This includes knives over 3 inches long, guns, including airsoft and paintball, and hazardous materials. Campus security lists the fine for having an unauthorized firearm on campus as anywhere between $50-$250. Those few students who keep a gun on campus are required to store them in a gun safe in the security office.
Student government decided to tackle the subject of school shootings and security during the house presidents’ board meeting on Monday 19 October. Enough students had mentioned it in passing that the respective house presidents knew that they must begin to work on their own thoughts about shootings to assist the mental atmosphere of their houses. Presidents shared metaphysical ideas that would help them when confronted with the idea to share as a group. They also discussed ways to ensure that the material causes of shootings would be taken care of and how house presidents could have a positive effect on their house through their own actions.
The house presidents were not the only ones who were wrestling with how best to help the campus deal with these fears of a shooting happening on campus. Sophomore and all-campus Metahead Emma Herman led the house Metaheads to find metaphysical truths to support the campus. Stories like Mrs. Eddy almost being attacked were shared, as well as defeating material “problems” by not giving them power.
Principia is beginning to grapple with tough issues; the recent homosexuality policy change is a testament to that fact. The care students have for each other is evident in the hard work that goes into protecting the campus, whether that is through practical material steps or metaphysical work.