Yesterday, April 20th, was the 11th anniversary of the Columbine High School Massacre. Last week, on April 16th, was the three-year anniversary of the Virginia Tech shooting. One week ago from today, five shots were fired in the air, threatening Fairfield University students returning home from The Grape.

School shootings have been part of our life since elementary school. While the shots fired on Fairfield Beach Rd. were not on school grounds, the beach location they were fired on is where the large senior population reside. This is the second time in our four years at Fairfield University students when guns have been a front-page story on The Mirror.

The last time was in 2007 when a gun activity was detected in Regis Hall.

Fairfield University is often thought of as a safe school; after all, we are in Fairfield, CT. Our campus is gated and there is only one entrance open after 11 p.m. Students habitually leave their dorm rooms and townhouses unlocked. We have no problem getting up and leaving our laptops in the library, asking a stranger to watch it for us. All too often drunken friends trek back to Claver from the townhouses alone. There is no doubt we as students take our safety for granted.

After Virginia Tech, many schools turned their attention towards improving security.    Fairfield jumped on the bandwagon and implemented a campus alert system, sending automatic voicemails to our cell phones should an emergency arise.  Although the school has yet to send anything but a test call (knock on wood), if an emergency situation should arise we can hope the school would be prepared.

But it is evident that we cannot depend solely on campus security systems. We are quick to forget how easy it is for violent events to happen.  Although Fairfield students tend to look out for each other, it only takes one person’s anger to spark a fight, spiraling out of control and into a shooting. The arrogance that radiates off many Fairfield cliques could easily reflect back in the form of a gunshot. It’s not rocket science that unbalanced or disrupted emotions are a significant instigator in violent crimes.

As college students it is important to always be aware of your surroundings, especially in alcohol binging environments. And remember to treat people the way you would like to be treated or recent history could repeat itself.

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