Another campus shooting took place earlier this month, this one right in our own back yard. It began calmly enough, at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. It’s not a place known for violence. The town sits at the base of a mountain, and it is surrounded by a forest of Ponderosa pines covering close to two million acres. Flagstaff has a population of under 70,000, with another 60,000 in nearby rural areas. The college population adds about 21,000 people during the school year.

Be that as it may, there was nothing serene about what happened at NAU on Friday. According to witnesses, an 18-year old freshman and fraternity pledge was with two of his friends when an argument began with members of another fraternity. The argument became physical, and at that point the freshman went to his car and grabbed a .40 caliber handgun. He returned to the scene of the squabble, and allegedly shot four of the other students, one of them fatally. He has been charged with first degree murder, and three counts of aggravated assault.

All the details have yet to emerge, and the student’s guilt has yet to be established. Having said that, we feel compelled to mention the proliferation of gun violence in United States schools. We can’t ignore the situation. School gun violence, resulting in students and teachers being gunned down in elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, colleges and universities across the country, continues to escalate. And the gun lobby continues successfully to block efforts at reforming the gun laws, including those in Arizona, which has some of the more liberal gun laws in America.

Sure, we know: “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” On the other hand, we don’t know of any instance where the shooting took place without the presence of a gun. To understand the situation more fully, here are some of the disturbing statistics on the issue:
  • Since 2013, there have been at least 150 school shooting in the United States.
  • The shootings have resulted in scores of deaths and non-fatal gunshot wounds.
  • About a third of the school shootings resulted in at least one death.
  • During the first 11 days of October 2015, there were six separate school shootings, five of which resulted in injury or death.
Take a look at these numbers. Then compare them with those in other countries. Look at the gun laws here and elsewhere. You might come to the conclusion that gun laws play a significant part in the equation.

Law Offices of David A. Black
40 North Central Avenue #1850
Phoenix, AZ 85004
(480) 280-8028
Gun Laws under Fire after Campus Shooting at NAU
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