Gun Violence Research: If Not Now, When? How Many More Times Does This Have to Happen? by Rick St. Peter
I spent last school year teaching at the University of Craiova in Romania. It was an amazing year and being a single father, I took my son with me. Craiova is a medium-sized city and doesn’t have an international school, so Aidan was going to do 6th grade in a Romanian school.
When I registered him and met with the school’s headmaster and teachers, I jokingly asked if they had an active shooter policy. The Romanians looked at me as if I’d lost my mind. When we enrolled him in his current school this year, the guidance counselor said to him, “Welcome back to the real world." Really? Is this the real world? Where I drop my son off at school and wonder if he will come home alive?
It seems like school shootings are no longer a question of why but rather when. When will it happen at my son’s school? This is what we have become and it is infuriating. What can be done?
The first priority has to be a lifting of the ban on research into gun violence – the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stopped researching gun violence in 1996. How can you solve a problem without proper data? Science is apolitical. I urge you to contact your representatives and demand researchers be allowed to do their jobs.
If not now, when?