Rise in gun violence cause for concern

This photo of the toilet that was shot circulated Cary High School via Snapchat. This is only one example of the rise in gun violence.

Photos by Kassidy Collins

This photo of the toilet that was shot circulated Cary High School via Snapchat. This is only one example of the rise in gun violence.

Gun violence has increasingly become a larger problem over the past few months, not only nationally, but locally. From the mass shooting in Hedingham to a code red lockdown at Athens, gun violence has been creeping closer to home. 

Raleigh made national news headlines 13 October with a mass shooting that resulted in the death of six people. Since then, there have been several incidents involving gun violence. The same week, there was an incident at Cary High School involving a gun. 

“Obviously I was scared, but more than anything, I was frustrated,” said Dana Wilsey, junior at Cary High School. “I knew it was a matter of time before someone brought a gun to my school. I think it’s really sad that I wasn’t surprised.”

On 12 October around 11 a.m., a gunshot went off in a bathroom in the school. A freshman had brought a gun to school and, after a blurry series of events, shot a toilet. The school was placed under lockdown for over an hour afterward. The student was apprehended and questioned off-campus later that same day. Other than rumors and a photo circulating on Snapchat, students were not told what had happened until later in the day. 

A similar incident occurred here at Athens Drive on 18 November. Around 12:30 pm, after an alleged drive-by on Jaguar Park, the school was put into code red lockdown. As this was during lunch for many students, confusion on where to go caused chaos in the hallways. 

“I thought it was a fight at first when people started running, but no one came back after a few minutes so my friends started getting worried,” said Elizabeth Senn, junior. “As we were being rushed to classrooms, I realized that if a shooter got into the building at that moment, my friends and I would be the most vulnerable people, and I might never see my family again.”

Many students found themselves huddled in the library, confused about what was going on. For students in their third period, the lack of knowledge of what was happening caused feelings of panic and anxiety. After 30 minutes in the lockdown, students were told to go to their fourth period as normal. Many teachers, according to students, allowed students to decompress and chill during the fourth period that day. 

Since the incident at Athens, there have been other major incidents in the area involving gun violence. One occurred at Fuquay-Varina Middle School, and another caused a huge blackout in Moore County. On 6 December, an unknown suspect shot a Moore County power station in order to prevent a drag show from occurring. Over 45,000 homes and businesses lost power as a result. 

On 8 December, Fuquay-Varina Middle School went into a code red lockdown after a student fired a gun at a window. The school posted information about the incident on their website shortly after. 

While this trend in gun violence is continuing to rise, little has been done to prevent it. In 2022, there have been 611 mass shooting in the US, but there has been little progress in legislation. While many people push for stricter gun laws, there are equally as many who push for less gun restriction. As of July 2022, there have been 45 laws passed with regards to gun regulation. 

“It is wrong and unfair for children to be traumatized at such a young age because of loose gun laws,” said Erin Mcneese, junior. “No child should feel unsafe at school, this gun violence has to stop.”