DETROIT — The toll of Monday night’s massacre at Michigan State UniversityWhere? three students The loss of five people and the grievous wounds to their bodies is inevitable. It will continue to affect these communities for some time.

Arielle Anderson is a sophomore and wanted to become pediatrician. Brian Fraser was also a sophomore and president of his fraternity. Alexandria Verner, a junior, was an athlete at three sports in high school.

That’s There are three possible lives Cut short: Five more people will carry the scars for life, and countless others will have to deal with trauma that’s not common in American society.

But it is often a new experience. For a handful on Monday, it wasn’t.

Students at MSU There were many who attended. Oxford High SchoolNorth of Detroit was the scene where four people were killed and seven more injured by a gunman. late 2021. According to the Detroit Free Press report, one text her mother. “Mom, I just want to come home, I want to hold you.”

This was perhaps to be expected considering the circumstances. MSU’s student body includes graduates from virtually every major public high school in Michigan. But it wasn’t just Oxford alumni reliving that kind of trauma.

Flowers, prayers and condolences are offered at the makeshift memorial. “The Rock” Michigan State University, campus at February 14, 2023. A The day before, a gunman shot at campus buildings in two different locations. Three students were killed and several more were injured.

Scott Olson via Getty Images

Participants currently MSU It is Jackie MatthewsA senior, who was a victim of the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre, Newtown, Connecticut 10 years ago. A Just after midnight, she sat down in a nearby room to write her thoughts. TikTok video.

“I am 21 years old, and this is the second mass shooting that I have now lived through,” Matthews said. She went on to describe her memories of Sandy Hook ― of crouching under desks with her classmates for so long that she actually fractured vertebrae, an injury that to this day flares up when she’s under stress.

“The fact that this is the second mass shooting that I have now lived through is incomprehensible,” Elle added.

Incomprehensible ― except, again, maybe it’s not so incomprehensible.

MSU Has 50,000 studentsMany of these people are from other parts of Michigan. It’s not all that surprising to find some who survived prior school shootings, given how common they’ve become, to say nothing of students whose lives gun violence has touched in some other way.

Each day, 22 American children and teenagers are victims gun violenceAccording to the Brady organization. This number also includes attempted suicides as well as homicides.

Matthews concluded her TikTok plea with an appeal for action “We can no longer just provide love and prayers,” She said. “It needs to be legislation.”

America’s Gun Violence problem Is Unique

The There is no better time to act. There are few countries that have so many gun deaths and so many guns in civilian hands than the United States. And there’s no mystery why guns here are so prevalent: It’s much easier to obtain and possess them.

Were these factors a contributing factor to the popularity of this product? MSU The shootings are still to be confirmed. Details about the incident, including the perpetrator, remain unknown.

A 43-year old man, he died after hours of the murders. It was believed that he had shot himself. He was a prior misdemeanor conviction According to Free PressThe lawyers of the defendant pleaded guilty to a less serious charge for felony firearm offense. This may have been sufficient to legalize possession.

Michigan State University students react during an active shooter situation on campus on Feb. 13, 2023, in East Lansing, Michigan.
Michigan State University students respond to an active shooter situation at campus on February 13, 2023. This was in East Lansing.

Bill Pugliano via Getty Images

According to neighbors, the man is a “nearby” “loner” According to multiple media reports, he had trouble relations with his family. He also recalled practicing target shooting in the yard with an automatic gun.

The shooter’s father has told reporters he asked his son whether he had a gun in the house, and the son denied it.

The full accounting This may strengthen the case for more severe prosecutions of gun crimes. The Another argument for more investment in mental healthcare is the story.

However, inconsistent prosecutions of crimes and high rates of mental illness is not a unique American phenomenon. It is not the large number of guns or gun crimes that are unique.

There’s no reason lawmakers can’t address all of those at once — which, to be clear, doesn’t mean they will.

A The History Of Most of the time, futile legislative efforts

Since the beginning of time, mass shootings have been followed by demands for action. Columbine High School is the site of the massacre Colorado’s Denver area in 1999. Sandy Hook in 2012 ― after which President Barack Obama, speaking Father As much as a President Get teased up While vowing to adopt new legislation.

He didn’t succeed, even though it was just months after he’d won a resounding reelection bid and even though polls showed the public behind him ― and even though, in the Senate, a compromise bill from Sens. Joe Manchin (D.W.Va. Pat Toomey (R-Penn.) Supported by most Democrats, but also a handful of Republicans.

It was an a modest package Obama’s original proposal for background checks was scaled back to include them. But even those concessions weren’t enough to pry the votes necessary to prevail in a chamber where rural, more conservative states have disproportionate power ― and where, then as now, it took a supermajority of 60 votes to pass legislation.

One of the few exceptions took place last year, when the outrage over yet another massacre of small children ― this time in Uvalde, Texas ― led to a bipartisan gun bill The President Joe Biden signed. The Law strengthens background checks and seeks reduce so-called “scammers” “straw purchases,” When you put money in mental health services.

The bill provides funding to states as well. “red flag laws,” A legal process is established to take guns from loved ones who can prove that the firearm poses a risk to their safety or those of others. These are called “extreme protection orders.”)

President Barack Obama wipes tears as he makes a statement in response to the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on Dec. 14, 2012.
As President Barack Obama cries out in an emotional response to Sandy Hook Elementary School’s shooting on December 14, 2012 in Newtown Connecticut, he tries not to cry.

Alex Wong via Getty Images

The backdrop for enactment was however, a landmark Supreme Court decision Achieving a New York law restricting the ability to carry a gun in public ― and, with it, jeopardizing similar laws The books All across the country

It was an extension of earlier decisions protecting a constitutional right to personal gun ownership, something the Supreme Court didn’t even recognize until 2008And just last month, two federal judges have also cited it that ruling As a result, State laws should be thrown out Gun possession is prohibited for those who are victims of domestic violence.

Gun Finally, Legislation Has A Chance In Michigan

Please see the following: MichiganGun laws have also been passed. Fight.

After the Oxford shooting, Democrats in the state legislature proposed a series of measures ― to create a more comprehensive background check system, to set new rules for gun storage and to set up a red flag system. The proposals were not given a hearing by the legislative Republican leaders.

That was possible because they’d dismissed previous efforts with no political consequences, thanks in part to support from gun rights advocacy groups and a deeply partisan gerrymander that gave Republicans an effective lock on control. Michigan voters approved a measure to create an independent redistricting commission. With these new districts, Democrats won. Taking control of the legislative This is the first time this has happened since the 1980s.

Even before Monday’s shooting, Democratic leaders in the legislature had vowed to make those gun laws among their top priorities. After the shootingThey also made it very clear, that this was what they wanted to do. press ahead ― and they didn’t mince words.

“Fuck your thoughts and prayers,” tweeted Rep. Ranjeev puri is a Democrat whose congressional district lies in the west Detroit suburbs.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, the Democrat who won reelection in November, didn’t use the same colorful language at a Tuesday morning press conference. She didn’t even mention legislation explicitly.

She has also identified the gun proposal as a top priority, She made an emotional reference to them when she was forced to, just like Obama ten years ago. hold back tears.

“This is a uniquely American problem,” Whitmer is the mother of Whitmer and her children are now attending college in Michigan. “Our children are scared to go to school … words are not good enough.”

There is Evidence Gun Let the Laws Decide A Complex Story

The The hard question is how effective these measures will be.

The sheer number of guns now in circulation here in the U.S. means that gun violence is a reality that won’t go away easily. The Most important would be to restrict gun ownership and possess, along with restrictions regarding the type of firearms. buyback that Australia launched Following a highly publicized massacre in that area.

This action is not likely to be passed by Congress at the moment. Even if it did, it wouldn’t get past this Supreme Court.

This leaves Michigan with the option of modest regulation, as well as other states.

The Evidence of their efficacy is often more indicative than conclusive. Rand Corporation researchers In a number of highly cited literature reviews, they have discovered these findings. A reason could be that federal restrictions on the funding of violence research in gun violence were not lifted until recent years. difficult to conduct The type of study required. These were restrictions. handiwork Allies of the National Rifle Association on Capitol Hill

But there’s enough research to suggest that some measures Could make a difference. And it doesn’t take a ton of imagination To think that a red flag statute might have discouraged the MSU Shooter, or anyone similar to him, especially if the law was known. (That’s turned out to be a key issue in states that have passed these laws already: Not enough people know about them to make use of them.).

The The main drawback to these systems are the scrutiny prospective gun owners have to go through, and whether or not they constitute an inexcusable violation of liberty. The NRA and its supporter see it this way. Many elected officials still serve in Congress or state legislatures, many of which are Republican.

But the majority of Americans don’t seem to agree. Surveys show that ideas like background checks are popular across all political lines. This includes a Michigander poll. EPIC-MRC released in September.

These measures could be voted down by voters who are not in favor. It’s happened that way before. But it’s also possible the majority of Americans think liberty means the freedom to attend school without getting caught up in a massacre ― and then having to go through that experience all over again.