There were two shootings close to Hamline over the summer, one across Anderson by Speedway and Mirror of Korea and one just across the street of the main State Fair gate while the State Fair was going on.
Unfortunately, there were also two mass shootings in America (El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio) within 24 hours of each other this summer.
We are now living in a country where mass shootings are commonplace. We expect one to pop up on the news every couple weeks or so. There is conversation about it and uproar for a few weeks. Then everything goes back to normal with little to no change.
With gun violence at a major high in this country, we must prepare for the worst. In the spring of my senior year of high school, school shootings were in the news. One night, I asked my mom whether I could be expelled from high school so I could be alive for college.
When I got to college, I noticed a massive difference between preparation and training for school shootings then what we did in high school. Mainly, we had zero training on what should we do in the case of a shooting.
This seems especially odd given that Hamline has trainings on other important topics, including sexual assault and drinking in college. Given the Hamline goal of keeping students safe, why doesn’t Hamline do a seminar on what to do in the case of an on-campus shooting?
I have a few theories. One, Hamline assumes everyone knows what to do in the case of a school shooting.
This sort of makes sense. I have done lockdown drills in school since elementary school. I know exactly what to do and where to go in the case of a shooting, the best place to hide so I am not seen or heard by anyone. A place with the lights off and the shades drawn is best. It’s also best if you make zero noise no matter how much anxiety and fear you feel.
Even though I have the routine down pat, I highly doubt that everyone in the Hamline student body had the same training I did.
My second theory is that Hamline doesn’t tell the students because they don’t think it’s necessary or because they don’t expect an on-campus shooting.
This thought frightens and saddens me. There have been multiple mass shootings across America in the past few years and even more since the Columbine shooting in 1999. There is no reason why Hamline’s administration should think the students and staff are safe from the dangers of guns and shootings. We must prepare for it.
It’s even a bigger deal when we discuss people living on campus in dorm rooms. People are constantly sleeping on campus. What are they supposed to do if a shooting breaks out when they are sleeping or showering?
What about disabled students such as myself? I can walk and hide, but I also have my wheelchair. Where should I put it? What should I do if I can’t run away fast enough? And what about blind and deaf students? Or students who limp or walk with a cane?
These are important questions we as students and faculty deserve answers to. Our safety and the safety of everyone around us should be a priority for everyone on campus. And we should have step -by-step instructions for what to do if that safety is ever in danger.