Our View: Don’t let violence define our generation

DKS Editors

You can never claim that you feel what the students, friends, family and community members surrounding Youngstown State University are feeling right now, but we’ve had our share of off-campus violence, and we feel for them.

The two men accused of shooting into a Youngstown State fraternity house Saturday night, killing one student and wounding 11, including six students, were apparently angry for being thrown out of a party there.

Because of their anger, 25-year-old Jamail Johnson lost his life.

Johnson was apparently trying to calm the situation when he was shot, said Youngstown Police Chief Jimmy Hughes.

Witnesses said he was trying to resolve an issue that had nothing to do with him. He was just trying to be a good person and do the right thing.

There is no point in trying to make sense of something so nonsensical. There are no explanations to justify what has happened. There is no reasoning that can explain such an act.

As a society, we’ve become numb to violence. We don’t take things like inebriated scuffles seriously enough. People crowd around, cheer on and even videotape fights—as we’ve seen with the Campus Pointe fight this past weekend.

Violence is not a joke. What seems like nothing more than drunken fight at a party can quickly escalate into a horrific tragedy.

What can we learn from this tragedy?

Different people will take different lessons from this, said Karen Cunningham, assistant professor and acting director for Kent State’s Center for Applied Conflict Management. Some may think they should never intervene in conflict, but conflicts are incredibly complex, and the dynamics shift and change based on a variety of circumstances.

Cunningham said it’s important to be familiar with the warning signs of potential violence.

As a society, we need to make it clear that we are not OK with just standing by and doing nothing. It’s not acceptable to shoot each other because we are angry.

Jamail Johnson will forever be remembered for his desire to do the right thing.

We cannot let violence define our generation. More importantly, we cannot let fear prevent us from doing what’s right.

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