Santa Fe School Shooting: When is enough enough?

Connor Casne-Jones

Friday morning, May 18, started as any day would for the students at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas. At 7:45 a.m. local time, a shooter opened fire inside the school. The shooter had a shotgun and a 38-caliber revolver. This is the 22nd school shooting in the last year where someone was killed or injured. Two teachers and eight students are dead and another ten are wounded.  

The shooter was Dimitrios Pagourtzis, a student at the school. On social media, Pagourtzis posted images of guns, a t-shirt that said, “Born to Kill” and images of his trench coat with Nazi symbols. A substitute teacher pulled the fire alarm when she heard shots and the school was evacuated. It is also believed that Pagourtzis set up bombs near campus, although thankfully none of these went off. This is the deadliest school shooting since February 14 when 17 students were killed in Parkland, Florida. 

Later that same day in Clayton County, Georgia, at about 8:45 p.m. near Mount Zion High School, there was another shooting that left one woman dead and another injured. Two arrests have been made. The shooting was apparently the result of an argument.  

Despite two separate shootings on May 18, the news coverage on May 19 was mostly devoted to the royal wedding in England. It is sad that just a day after such a tragedy, many Americans sat down to watch a wedding that is inconsequential to 99% of people watching. It shows that school shootings have almost become normal, a fact of life. When will people wake up and decide enough is enough? School shootings must stop. Everyone thinks this could never happen to their school, and I assume the kids at Santa Fe High School, a school similar in size to our own, thought the same way. 

2017 was a rough year for America. There were 11 mass shootings that killed 117 people and injured 587 people.  In the Santa Fe shooting, the shooter obtained his guns from his father. Nikolas Cruz, the shooter from the Parkland shooting, obtained his guns by buying them.  Peter Lanza, the shooter from Sandy Hook Elementary School got his guns from his mother’s home.  

The fact is that no one needs an AR-15 or any weapon capable of that kind of destruction, but that is what makes this most recent school shooting so terrible.  Shotguns are an amazing weapon for hunting small game such as birds and for self-defense. The revolver used by Dimitrios was nothing special either.   

The solution to school shooting is not as cut-and-dry as simply taking away people’s weapons, because that will never happen. What we can do to reduce these shootings is better background checks when buying a gun, better gun safety by parents, and making it illegal to own weapons such as an AR-15.