Yet Another School Shooting

So if many of you don't know, I live in Florida. I live in South Florida and I attended Florida Gulf Coast University, while many of my friends either attend Florida State University, or University of Florida. Last night, I had the horror to go on twitter to see several of my friends that are students of Florida State University tweeting about being locked in a library with a gunman on campus. I get chills just remembering how panicked I felt last night upon reading that not only was someone armed, but that he was shooting. SHOOTING.

Late last night between 12:30-1:30, a man walked into the Strozier Library on FSU campus and started firing a semi-auto handgun. As he walked in, someone yelled 'gun' just as the first round went off, hitting the first student in the back pack full of books WHICH SAVED HIS LIFE, and hitting a security guard as well as two other people, one staff and I believe one student. I'm not totally sure on that.

All the floors of the building instantly went into terror, students grabbing their things and either fleeing for the emergency exists or getting stuck in the top floors between book shelves and under study tables. I honestly can't imagine the terror of my friends who were in the building. One girl that I grew up with was on the third floor when the shots went off. She and the students in the third floor ran for the shelves, 30+ students squeezing between and calling the police.

Police reacted instantly. FSUPD responded instantly, surrounding the building. The shooter went outside and then fired on the police, resulting in retaliation by FSUPD that resulted in lethal force. The gunman was pronounced dead on scene.

As horrifying as this is and as afraid as I am about everything that happened, I'm writing this because everyone misunderstands that anyone can fit the profile of a public shooter. The man in question was a successful lawyer, an alumnus of the school itself. IT ONLY TAKES ONE PERSON OFF BALANCE TO DO SOMETHING LIKE THIS. It can be a neighbor or a friend. It isn't always someone who is disturbed or who shows signs or who is inherently violent. It can be ANYONE. This man was a devout Christian and someone who avidly worked in charities. Not someone you would ever expect, which is my point.

My second point in this touches lightly on the topic of gun laws. I am an advocator for being armed. My family has raised me with gun education, gun safety and gun use. I know how to shoot a firearm, I know how to work a firearm and I know how to clean firearms as well. I know how to identify them and I know how to safely store and operate them.

That being said, I am not a believer that the American people should have assault weapons at all. I don't think anyone needs assault rifles and semi-autos that are above a certain caliber. Gun laws are a really hard topic to discuss because while regulations are tighter than they have ever been and there are laws being placed on guns and the purchase of guns, the real problem is obtaining weapons illegally. A lot of the weapons used in shootings and massacres, or even bombs and such are not acquired legally. There is a huge black market in the United States that people can gain access to in order to buy weapons that have absolutely nothing to do with gun laws and making them stricter.

So what the hell do we do if we can't control the export of these weapons amongst the unstable? We need to start educating people. We need to educate students and faculty on what to do in these situations. With shootings in schools and public venues on a horrific rise in America, nothing is really being done. Sure, we're writing manuals and putting labels in classrooms on what one should do if there is an incident involve a mass shooting, but no one is teaching people survival skills or how to escape in these situations. No one is being taught how to identify what kind of gun is being used and if there is anything extra they can do to protect themselves. (If someone knows it's a bolt action rifle, they know a shooter will have to reload and they probably have a max of 20-30 seconds to run without shots fired)

I hate thinking that we have to educate people on situations like these. But I feel like articles found on school pages high lighting what people should do isn't enough. In schools especially, there need to be protocols put in place so that people cannot just walk into buildings armed. At the school where the shooting happened, the only reason the shooter got as far as the first floor is because it's the only floor that doesn't require a school ID swipe. All other floors only give access to people with FSU ID's. More protocols like this are essential, in my opinion.

I know a few of the things I said are controversial. These are just things I believe in. These opinions may not reflect your own. This situation brings to light how important it is that something has to be done. I'm not saying we should educate little kids on guns or have classes where all you learn about are weapons. But I do think that something needs to be done in order for the children in schools and universities alike are prepared for tragedies like this. Because that's the first problem today, is that we aren't preparing our kids for a real threat that exists.

If anyone out there has ever suffered something even close to this, my heart is with you. I hope one day that we as a country can send our children to school with confidence and without fear of a murder or a tragedy. I hope that something happens, whether we limit guns or whether we provide education, as long as it protects our people.

My prayers and thoughts are with the three people injured in the FSU shooting.


*Disclaimer: All information on the Florida State University shooting are from articles and from personal experiences that my friends have explained to me. The subject matter of this blog post may be subject to change or inaccuracy, as it is not a direct news source and it does not contain links to credible sources.
November 21st, 2014 at 12:35am