UW students offer unique perspective on school shootings




Posted on June 10, 2014 at 10:41 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 10 at 11:12 PM

Between celebrating the end of the school year with friends, and cramming for that last final, UW students paused at the news of another school shooting -- but it didn't slow them down.

"I noticed the shooting going on through Reddit," said 19 year old Brandon Do.

"It is something we've grown up with," said Lucas See. "For us it's kind of like almost the norm I guess. Just because it happens so often."

We found Lucas See sitting with his friend, Coral Lee on a bench on campus. They are both 19 years old. They were three when Kip Kinkel shot dozens of people at his school in Springfield, OR. But the earliest school shooting they remember happened the following year, Columbine.

They were in 7th grade for Virginia Tech, and in high school for Newtown, Connecticut. They are part of a generation who has grown up with mass school shootings.

"Really didn't have any earthquake drills after 6th grade," said See. "We were told to jump under our desk and that was it, versus the lock down training. We had those at least 4 times a year I think."

"We've learned to stay as silent and still as possible until they reach you, and in that case run or try to stop them," said Lee.

Many students share a similar sense of inevitability.

"It's the same cycle every single time," said Do. "Everyone is going to be like 'we need gun control laws, we need to do this, we need to improve that.' At the same time, what can we do?"

"I always know it's a possibility that can happen at anywhere at any time," said Hiyab, Legesse, also 19 years old. "But I never really think about it on a daily basis."

But as they look to their future, they are far from hopeless. They all spoke of John Meis, the student who took down the gunman at SPU. Some say one advantage of growing up in this era is the feeling a person can make a difference.

"My generation and the generation that comes after me, everyone is going to do something about it," said Do. "We're not passive."