HallOUween really lived up to its reputation this year. What a blast Saturday (and by extension, the entire weekend) was! The Block Party was as rich with great bands, creative costumes, splendid merriment and entertaining people-watching opportunities as ever.
But as the night wound down and my friends and I retreated home to recap the night’s events and get some much-needed sleep, we heard the news that there were gun shots fired on Court Street. Bliss turned to panic.
I was so proud to be member of The Post that night, as my colleagues’ sprung into immediate action and provided a constant flow of information as the night’s scary events unfolded.
I was also proud to be a Bobcat and to go to a school where our police and administrators go to extra lengths to ensure our safety. The tight security at the dorms no longer felt frivolous but comforting. The countless police officers from the Athens Police Department, Ohio University Police Department, Sheriff’s Office, and other departments on duty that night weren’t daunting but reassuring.
All I could do was lock my door and hope the gunman didn’t live near my house and go on a rampage because that easily could have happened.
Kent State. Columbine. Red Lake. Virginia Tech. Northern Illinois. Chardon. Sandy Hook. Santa Monica. Santa Barbara. These are just some of the recognizable middle schools, high schools and colleges on the ever-growing list of school shootings in the U.S. Ohio University isn’t on the list … yet.
The gunfire early Sunday morning wasn’t even the first scare this year.
When reports came in this summer of a possible shooting in Gamertsfelder Hall, it was like one of your worst fears coming true. We hear about shootings all the time, but when reports come in that someone has attacked your school it gets personal and it gets scary.
As The Post executive editors wrote in Monday’s editorial, “All it takes … is a gun pointed at someone instead of straight into the air. Tragedy can happen anywhere, and Sunday’s incident reminded us of that.”
Thankfully, HallOUween remains renowned for the good times had by its massive costumed crowd. This scare won’t become its reputation. But the threat is always there — not just on HallOUween but every day. That doesn’t mean we should live in constant fear, though, because then the shooter wins.
Be safe. Be cautious. Be grateful. Be active in trying to decrease the threat. The list of school shootings shouldn’t keep growing.
Erin Davoran is a junior studying journalism and a copy editor at The Post. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.