MSU Highlights Mass Shooting Commonalities in US
East Lansing, Michigan - A mass shooting at Michigan State University Monday night claimed the lives of three students, and injured five more. The tragedy became the 67th mass shooting across the United States in just the first 45 days of the new year.
It was reported to MSU campus police at 8:18pm Monday that shots were fired at Berkey Hall, home to the University’s College of Social Sciences. Multiple classrooms in Berkey Hall were in use for night courses, before a gunman entered and fatally shot two students. He then evacuated Berkey Hall and headed for the MSU Student Union where he shot and killed his final victim, before taking his own life.
Despite students and local residents being advised to shelter in place for nearly 90 minutes, campus and local police responded quickly, and the actual ordeal lasted under fifteen minutes. Hundreds of officers, and more than thirty law enforcement vehicles were deployed to Michigan State’s campus to investigate the scene while students obeyed the school’s shelter in place order, along with the direction to “run, hide, and fight.”
As previously mentioned, this incident became the 67th mass shooting across the United States this year, while the rest of the world combined has seen fewer than thirty. Over the last two years, more than 1,300 mass shootings occurred across the country, which equates to nearly two each day throughout the entirety of 2021 and 2022.
Another statistic demonstrating the United States’ discouraging trends in gun violence reveals that more Americans have been killed by gun violence over the past fifty years than killed in combat from every war in the nation’s history.
The shooting embodied many of the sorrow commonalities of American mass shootings over the past decades. Eight of the nation’s thirteen deadliest mass shootings over the prior twenty years occurred on the grounds of public schools, representing a greater trend in which over 35% of all shootings occur on school campuses.
The Columbine High School massacre in 1999 struck the nation when two students plotted to execute a mass murder on their classmates and teachers. They killed twelve students and a teacher, and over the nearly quarter-century since, mass murderers have attempted to replicate the tragedy of Columbine at other schools across America. 32 were killed on the campus of Virginia Tech in 2007, and 26 elementary students were killed in Sandy Hook, Connecticut in 2012. The Spring of 2018 saw two high school shootings claim 27 lives total.
Sadly, the United States has by far the most deaths from gun violence per capita among the world’s developed countries. At four deaths for every 100,000 citizens, the US is over three deaths higher than the next developed country, Cyprus, at 0.628 deaths per 100,000 people.
Not a day goes by without countless incidents of gun violence across the United States, despite the hard work and diligence of shooting survivors to ensure a better and safer future for America’s children. For more information and statistics regarding the devastating impact of gun violence across the country, visit giffords.org, a political action committee dedicated to ending gun violence, and Gun Violence Archive, a non-profit organization with the goal of informing the American public about gun violence to ensure a safer future.