America’s Response to The St. Louis School Shooting is Concerning

The recent school shooting at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School, in St. Louis, is a great example of how desensitized Americans have become to gun violence.

graphic by Jacob Eischen; data from:

Monday, Oct. 24, a graduate of Central VAP broke into the school with an AR-15-style rifle with over 600 rounds of ammunition. He then proceeded to wander the building firing his weapon upon the people fleeing and hiding. The police arrived within four minutes, and after a short shoot out, the shooter was taken off campus with a bullet wound. However, he was not detained before a student and teacher were killed, and seven were left wounded.

This story has barely been covered by any major news outlets. Occasional updates are made on CNN’s website, but TV coverage was limited to a few days, and written coverage is primarily small local news outlets. This could be interpreted in many ways, depending on a person’s stance on gun violence.

Maybe it’s a positive thing. Less coverage in the news means kids won’t get any ideas. Or maybe the reason for lack of coverage has something to do with the fact that it happened in a primarily black school. Or maybe there weren’t enough victims? Maybe the story wasn’t sensational enough.

Recently Oak Park had a lock and teach, and although it was not a life-threatening situation, seeing student reactions to a potential threat was not what some would expect. Some students began to make jokes.

“They’re coming for you,” one boy said pointing to his friend across the room.

Another student opened a text, audio began to play of screams and what sounded like gunshots. A few students giggled.

Not reactions most people would expect. It’s concerning.

These student reactions are just a few examples of how people have become desensitized to situations like these. Gun violence is so common, school shootings are such a reoccurring issue, that people are making jokes about it. People are trying to cope and trying to block out these traumatizing issues.

Although answering the overall issue of gun violence and school shootings is not an easy one, it’s clear that the path America is heading down a path that is not healthy. American citizens are becoming desensitized to the major acts of violence and are becoming blind to what is happening in their own country.