Our view: The gun generation

DKS Editors

People currently attending college were alive during the tragedies at Columbine, Virginia Tech and Chardon, to name several recent incidents. It is a sad fact that today’s students are part of a generation accustomed to shootings and other mass tragedies, but the silver lining is that universities and other facilities have spent time and money to ensure officials and other people on campus are trained to react to active shooters.

Kent State’s A.L.I.C.E. training works to alert campus of an active shooter and counter that shooter as soon as possible. Kent State offers this program through the departments of Public Safety and Human Resources, and more than 90 percent of universities have protocols to address campus-shooting threats. We are glad so many universities are spending time and money to address these threats.

Whereas our parents’ and grandparents’ generations might have feared targeted shootings toward individuals such as presidents or celebrities, our generation often deals with more generalized acts of terror such as mall or movie-theater shootings. It’s not that we find ourselves thinking every time we leave our houses, “If there were an active shooter right now, what would I do?”, but training for these situations makes sure people know what to do in case there is one.

The northeast Ohio community of Chardon was rocked two years ago by a student shooter, and its residents are still reeling from the deaths of three students at the high school in that incident. Thursday marked the two-year anniversary of the incident.

“No shooting is going to change the way people think about each other, or what their beliefs are on gun policies, or how schools are secure nowadays,” Chardon resident Chris Klee said Thursday. “We’re in a different age, and it showed when it came here.”

There might not be a good way to truly prevent the tragedies even with good efforts to treat mental illness, curb gun purchases or punish the criminals who commit shootings or terror acts, but preparing for these situations is essential to responding when they do happen. It is our generation’s responsibility to prepare itself to react appropriately in these situations, and we hope every student reads A.L.I.C.E. policies and/or does the full training Kent State has available.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.