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“Another one?”

This seemed to be the national response to the deadly shooting that occurred this past Saturday, January 25 at the Columbia Mall in suburban Baltimore.

Authorities state that 19 year-old Darion Marcus Aguilar of College Park, Md. was the gunman who fatally shot two employees at the Zumiez store.

Aguilar opened fire in the suburban shopping center, killing two and wounding five before taking his own life. Officials have stated that it is likelyAguilar struggled with mental illness, yet there is no clear connection between the shooter and his victims.

As the police department of Howard Country searches for the motives behind the attack, national concern about gun control and safety has reached an all-time high.

Just days after the Maryland incident, a Hawaii high school was under lockdown following a combative shooting altercation between the police force and a teen student.

Shooting massacres have almost become commonplace over the past 15 years. Of late, each turn of the calendar seems to be marked with increased brutal bloodshed due to mass public shootings.

Sandy Hook. Aurora. New Jersey. Virginia Tech. Shootings have occurred in elementary schools, high schools, malls and movie theaters.

No public space is safe.

Even runners were not able to safely cross the finish line in last year’s Boston Marathon.

Since the Columbine shooting in 1999, the list of tragedies has continued to grow and societal unrest has soared to new heights.

Whether it be restrictions on the sale of automatic weapons, background checks on gun carriers or reevaluating our culture’s fascination with violent entertainment, moves must be made to establish widespread societal change.

We should no longer gravely accept these tragedies as routine or expected.

Safety must be restored in the public realm.

These shootings continue to hit closer to home—both literally and figuratively.

The Columbine incident happened too long ago for many college kids to clearly remember.

Yet across the nation, many more tragedies have struck since then, directly affecting students within the Villanova community.

How long will it be until every student at Villanova is able to self-identify with a home town massacre of their own? Something must be done.

 
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