Let’s take a moment to think of all the things you could get done in eight seconds.
You could zip and button your pants.
You could scrub a fork clean.
You could apply some lip balm.
You could run a 40-yard dash (In fact, you could almost run two, if you’re really quick).
The list could go on and on.
I bet it didn’t cross your mind how recklessly and thoughtlessly violent you could be in eight seconds.
I bet you didn’t consider how many lives you could ruin or how much unease you could inflict on a whole body of people.
It took only eight seconds Thursday night, October 22, 2015, for Tennessee State University (TSU) to be added to the long list of campuses that have suffered violent and deathly shootings. And for what? A dice game.
According to the New York Times, one male individual who wasn’t enrolled at the school was killed and three females passing through the area were injured non-fatally. It is the investigator’s understanding that neither of the two males involved in the shooting were actual students. The shooter is still at large, despite the surfacing of videos from the shooting. They’re just not clear enough to identify a shooter or to provide any sense of ease to the students and administrators at TSU.
The question quickly evolves: What practices or lack thereof cultivated the kind of conditions that two violent outsiders were comfortably camped out on campus, throwing dice?
Last time I checked, Howard University was an open, urban campus. So, I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re thinking what I’m thinking. After all, it’s not a totally outlandish concern to wonder when this type of thing will happen in what’s supposed to be our safe space. And no, don’t let anyone write off your concern as mere paranoia.
It seems like all we read about these days are shootings, and maybe that’s because every other day there is a shooting. They aren’t all mass shootings, they’re not necessarily gang related. They’re not isolated to the north or the south, and the victim profile constantly varies. Shooters aren’t exclusively students and neither are the victims.
There are so many questions we cannot answer; so many patterns we can’t identify, but we need keep one thing in the forefronts of our minds:
How do we keep our campus from being the next tragic headline?
For now, we search for solutions and we keep Tennessee State University in our thoughts.