Santa Fe Shooting: Where Do We Go From Here?

Anabel Zamudio, Staff Writer

In Santa Fe, Texas, on Friday, May 18th, another school shooting took place at Santa Fe High School. This is the eighteenth school shooting in the U.S. in 2018 alone. As the year began and the number of school shootings increased rapidly, people began to notice how incredibly serious the matter was becoming. Of course, not enough has been done by the government to fix this problem, and the public is becoming numb toward the severity of these situations.

The morning of what Santa Fe High kids assumed would be another normal day was disrupted around 7:30 a.m. as the sound of a gun going off echoed through the halls of the high school. A young man named Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17, had opened fire on his own campus. He was armed with a Remington 870 shotgun and his father’s .38 caliber revolver, which he smuggled in under his coat. His actions resulted in 20 casualties: 10 injured and 10 dead, most of the victims being his fellow classmates. As officials investigated the school after the shooting, they discovered two homemade explosive devices. Pagourtzis had the intent of using them but was unable to, as both proved to be dysfunctional. He surrendered and was taken into custody by the end of that day.

Some people believe that paying attention to the warning signs that some individuals give off can prevent these types of events from occurring, but Pagourtzis gave no warning signs whatsoever. He was a quiet and reserved individual. He had no history of mental illness or any legal issues, the most dominant commonalities between previous school shooters. His friends noticed nothing strange about him or any sudden changes from the day that they met him until the day of the massacre. After school, he would spend hours playing violent video games which most often included guns. This, however, is typical for a majority of teenage boys today and in no way would have been suspicious to others. His own parents were just as shocked when they found out that their son had committed this crime, which goes to show how difficult it can be to decipher who is capable of these actions.

It has since been discovered that Pagourtzis was angry at a girl who had repeatedly turned down his advances, leading him to commit the massacre.

It is becoming obvious that the reactions from individuals are decreasing all around. Americans have perhaps become desensitized to gun violence. The students that were present the morning of the shooting were not shocked that it happened. One student voiced her thoughts on how she reacted at the moment that the gun was heard, and it is not what anybody wants to hear from children. She was completely unsurprised and apparently expected it to happen eventually. With school shootings happening so often, many students are expecting something to happen at their own school.

School shootings are not getting the recognition that is needed. After the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, the opinions of the affected individuals were voiced. They demanded more regulations on guns and protection for schools. This has not been satisfied as of yet, and the shootings continue to happen. The less that student voices are heard, the more likely that these events will occur. Students fearing attending school is not the direction in which we want to be moving. What happened in Texas is unacceptable. The lives of those 20 victims and all of their families, friends, and classmates will never be the same. One school shooting in 2018 was too many, and eighteen – the current number of shootings this year – is where it must stop.