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School Shootings: The New Normal?

by Austin Zagorac

Mass-Shootings-for-2015On Saturday, Oct. 1, a 26-year-old student opened fire in a classroom at Umpqua Community College in Oregon.

The gunman handed another student a flash drive containing the shooter’s personal writings. These revealed his motives for the shooting: personal and social frustration.  

It’s a situation that has become all too familiar.   

The media reports the occurrence, releases the name and a photo of the shooter, putting his face on national television for all to see.  Most will be shocked and aghast, and few will be inspired.  The major news outlets will always pose the same question: what could have been done to stop this?

Dr. Russ Phillips, a Pitt-Greensburg Assistant Professor of Psychology believes we may not be able to do anything.

“Perhaps by asking what we could have done differently, we are trying to grasp at straws to find control in a situation where we don’t have as much control as we would like,” Phillips said.  

Perhaps these tragedies have engrained themselves as a tragic, but regular, part of American culture.  Additionally, for many of us, the normality of these events stretches far beyond seeing these strictly through news reports.  

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