Shooting on campus raises question: What if?

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Many citizens of Saint Joseph woke up Thursday to read the shocking news that as most people slept comfortably snug in their beds, there had been a shooting on the campus grounds. Before knowing much more, instinct was to think that it had finally happened. Fear whispered that the outbreak of students violently lashing out had finally come to St. Joe. Echoes of Illinois and Virginia Tech rang throughout the Joe-town zeitgeist. Thankfully by reading on in the news, it could be clearly revealed that was not the case at all.

Three alleged robbers of the golden arches had made Missouri Western State University a part of their escape route and one man was shot in the leg in the pursuit by S.J.P.D. Instead of the hor­rifying disasters that tore through other schools across the country this was an example of the civic security of St. Joe functioning smoothly. But that single shot rang loud throughout the minds of Missouri Western. What if? Are we ever going to be truly prepared for such a truly horrific occurrence? Does it really matter how many guns the officers have? Or how many cameras there are on campus? Or how
many people know which system to tune into for flash news? What if it happened here? Would we really be ready?

This didn’t turn out to be the worst case scenario. In this case the danger to students and staff never grew to the critical level that other schools across the country have attained. Due mostly to the quick and efficient response of S.J.P.D. and a brave employee at McDonald’s making the call for help, a crime that could have reached catastrophic proportions was avoided. Bravo to all involved. Missouri Western was kept safe for another day.

This whole story should serve to remind us that the danger is still out there. Preparations could still be made to prevent future tragedy. We got lucky this time. Next time shots ring out across campus let us be prepared to make sure it can be prevented again. Sooner or later this may be a reality that Missouri Western has to deal with. We would like to believe that Missouri Western will be able to provide the same amount of excellence in security as it has delivered in all other areas of the universities domain. We would like to believe that we are safe from harm, but shouldn’t we be brave enough to ask ourselves “What if”?

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