The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

Gun violence awareness is everyone’s responsibility

Gun violence. Gun restrictions. Gun safety. Gun laws. These have all become major trigger words in the modern day United States, as legislation surrounding the use of lethal weapons grows more and more politicized and gun violence statistics continue to rise.

The perception of safety has been twisted to only be available for the upper class of the country. The ideas of safe neighborhoods vs dangerous neighborhoods is more often than not determined by the location and racial makeup of the area.

The answer is not to be afraid of the reality of gun violence, but to acknowledge it.

Within the walls of SPA, there is a lack of knowledge surrounding the El Paso Walmart shooting of 2019, the sixth most deadly shooting in USA history, when 21-year-old Patrick Wood Cruisius shot and killed 23 people, injuring 22 others. This was deemed a domestic terrorist attack, and was considered by the FBI to have been a racially motivated hate crime against the 81.6% Hispanic population of El Paso.
Why don’t students know about El Paso? One argument that could be made is that it is simply the perception of safety. El Paso, with its “high” murder rate, undergoing a mass shooting isn’t surprising. But El Paso has a lower overall violent crime rate than many upper-class blue cities. So what is the actual problem with the illusion of gun safety?

That it is unacceptable for certain examples of violence to take place, and that they must trigger discussion in our school, when the shooting of a predominantly Mexican neighborhood stirred nothing.
Race is at the root of this lack of legislation around guns. Since 1982, there have been 148 mass shootings. Mass shootings are not the only form of gun violence, and, even if it’s not right, the kind that gets the most coverage. 53% of mass shooting perpetrators were white. Yet, the perception of gun violence is that perpetrators are of primarily Black and Latino heritage. Realistically, those identities are more likely to be victimized in gun violence, but they only account for 18% and 8% of mass shootings respectively.

Urban areas with predominantly Black and Latino populations (which are more likely to be victims of gun violence, not perpetrators) can become desensitized to the violence due to trauma. Their reaction can intensify the perception that they are more likely to be perpetrators of gun violence.

Gun violence is a problem across the board. Every group is responsible for the monster that has its grip on this nation, but those who put the blame entirely on Black and brown Americans, and who look the other way when the South suffers horrific shootings, but then are surprised when that violence comes to knock on their door — they are the biggest problem.

Within the walls of this school, there is a lack of awareness. The answer is not to be afraid of the reality of gun violence, but to acknowledge it. To take action through protest, through petition, through voting.

The problem is not going away. It will not go away, and this generation must be the one to fix it, because no one else will.

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About the Contributors
Grace Medrano, S1 News Editor
Hi! I'm Grace Medrano (she/her), one of the two News editors for The Rubicon. This is my third year on staff, and I previously worked as a staff writer, and an A&E editor. I’m big on creative writing and enjoy partaking in big movie nights filled with sugar, popcorn, and cringy 80s action movies. One fun fact about me is that I worked as a SPA camp counselor this summer, and sometimes catch myself asking people to use their toolbox. You can reach me at [email protected].
Siri Pattison, Opinions editor
My name is Siri Pattison (she/her). I’m the Opinions editor for The Rubicon Online. At school, I’m involved in the Antiracist Group, Student Activities Committee, and running sports. I love to camp and spend time in the natural world. I can be reached at [email protected].

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