The following reflects the majority opinion of the editorial board.
Last week, the city of Las Vegas saw a shooting that resulted in almost 60 dead and nearly 500 wounded. The past eight days have featured mourning, confusion, investigation and all other varieties of fallout in the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in the history of the United States.
With this tragedy comes renewed debate about gun control and our society’s policies and culture surrounding private ownership of firearms. However, this staff has touched on this issue before, and the point has come to pass where we must understand that these events will happen. The Miami community, as with any college campus in America, must come to terms with the possibility that a mass shooting, like the one in Las Vegas and the shootings that have preceded it in the U.S. over the last several years, could happen here.
Therefore, the school should do more to prepare students for the possibility of such an event occurring on this campus. The presence of an active shooter is an incredibly foreign concept to almost anyone in society that has not been involved in combat of some kind. In such a circumstance, students and faculty in the area would likely have no defense mechanism available to them. Knowing how to respond physically and mentally to this situation could make the difference in surviving such an attack.
To the school’s credit, its YouTube channel features a video entitled “RUN HIDE FIGHT Surviving an Active Shooter Event” that gives excellent detail on the procedure to follow if an active shooter situation were to occur. Additionally, Miami’s Emergency Procedures webpage gives a thorough rundown of how to handle the unthinkable. Anyone interested in knowing what to do during this situation should check out these resources. Groups interested can even contact MUPD and ask them to schedule a presentation, free of charge, with all this information.
However, the need for the entire student body to know these protocols is imperative, for this situation can happen to anyone at any time. No one person can take control during an active shooter situation, so it is only by educating everyone that Miami can ensure some level of resistance. Implementing even a short educational program for current or incoming students could make a difference.
It is important to note that those on campus should not live in constant fear of this occurrence; according to the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive, there have been 273 deaths from mass shootings thus far in 2017. This number is obviously too large, but in a country of 320 million people, the odds of becoming a victim of a mass shooting are extremely low.
That being said, this situation is still possible, and even if this situation never happens here, educating people can at least subside their anxiety that we are completely vulnerable. Maybe education could even deter a potential perpetrator, dissuading him or her of the effectiveness of his or her actions. When it comes to such violence, one can never be too safe.