The Slatest

Today’s School Shooting Reminds Us It Won’t Be Long Before We See Another … and Another

NOBLESVILLE, IN - MAY 25: A student and adult embrace outside Noblesville West Middle School after a shooting at the school on May 25, 2018 in Noblesville, Indiana. One teacher and one student were initially reported injured.  (Photo by Kevin Moloney/Getty Images)
A student and adult embrace outside Noblesville West Middle School after a shooting at the school on May 25, 2018.
Kevin Moloney/Getty Images

There’s been another school shooting. According to authorities, a male student opened fire at Noblesville West Middle School in central Indiana on Thursday morning, wounding at least one fellow student and one teacher. The child is in stable condition, while the adult’s condition was not immediately known. Police say they have the suspect in custody.

Vice President Mike Pence, who previously served as Indiana’s governor, offered the usual thoughts and prayers:

Barring any major unforeseen developments, this shooting will prove little more than a blip on the national radar. The news cycle will move on, and so will the politicians. Then tomorrow or the next day or perhaps the day after that, there will be another school shooting, and then another, and another after that, ad infinitum, unless (dare I say, until?) our nation’s elected leaders do something to stop it. More than 400 people have been shot, and roughly 150 killed, in more than 240 school shootings nationwide since January 1, 2014, a date most notable here because it came more than a year after a gunman killed 20 first graders and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, on Dec. 14, 2012.

All but the most horrific of those shooting were quickly forgotten. And even the most tragic have faded far too fast from the national memory. But all the while they seep ever-further into the consciousness of students who have spent years practicing lockdown drills and who can end up, quite literally, in the line of fire as they go to chemistry class or the cafeteria or gym.

After last week’s shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas—which killed 10 and injured 10 others, and which you’ve probably already mostly forgotten—a local TV reporter asked one of the students if she was shocked that a massacre could happen at her school. “It’s been happening everywhere. I’ve always kind of felt like that eventually it was going to happen here too,” responded Paige Curry, a junior who had to hide backstage in the school theater until police arrived. “I don’t know. I wasn’t surprised. I was just scared.”