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The Student News Site of Lake Forest High School

The Forest Scout

The Student News Site of Lake Forest High School

The Forest Scout

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Kansas City Shooting: Tragic but Not Surprising

Image+from+Wikimedia+Commons
Image from Wikimedia Commons

What began as a warm, pride-filled day for nearly one-million parade attendees resulted in chaos and horror. Following the Kansas City Chiefs’ second consecutive victory at the 2024 Super Bowl, the happy occasion was cut short when a shooting broke out during the celebratory parade on Feb. 14. 22 people were injured – half of them under age 16 – and a mother of two, Lisa Lopez-Galvan, was killed. 

On Feb. 16, two juveniles were arrested and taken into custody after being charged with alleged crimes related to the shooting. Following these arrests, on Feb. 20, Lyndell Mays of Raytown (23) and Dominic M. Miller (18) of Kansas City were charged with second-degree murder. Mays told authorities that he engaged in a dispute with another individual and eventually pulled out his gun. However, investigation is still being conducted as the underlying cause of the dispute, or why Mays decided to use his firearm, has not been solidified. 

Many attendees offered helpful hands to each other, both in evacuating the parade route and in attempting to identify potential culprits. Paul Contreras, a hero in this event, tackled a suspect after they had begun to flee the scene. Contreras spoke to authorities after his moment of bravery.

“It was just a reaction. I took him down, and as I took him down, I saw the weapon — the gun — fall to the ground,” he reported to NBC News.

Kansas City Police Chief Officer Stacey Graves expressed her deep disappointment in the event when speaking to the press: “I’m angry at what happened today. The people who came to this celebration should expect a safe environment.”

However, this tragedy wasn’t too unusual for Kansas City. Missouri has been struggling with a history of crime. In 2023 alone, 182 homicides shattered the lives of many Missourians, the majority of which involved a firearm. In 2021, Missouri ranked ninth-highest in gun deaths when compared to the rest of the nation. Missouri is also known for having some of the most lenient gun regulations in the U.S., allowing citizens to carry loaded firearms without a required permit or background check.

Missouri’s history of crime suggests there is a distinct correlation between the leniency of gun laws and the amount of firearm-related crime. If we allow for fewer gun restriction regulations, it is not surprising if crime rates increase.

In order to reduce these rates, one factor is obvious: there needs to be renewed legislation surrounding firearm purchase and usage in the entirety of the United States.

This event has frightened many LFHS students and staff. Many identifying as devout Chiefs fans, they can only imagine what they may have experienced if they had attended the parade. 

“Since other kids were shot, I can only begin to think about what might have happened if I were there. It’s scary,” senior Isabella Marsico said.

Senior Alivia Krebs recalls the violence at the 2022 Highland Park mass shooting and how this has changed her perspective on the current situation.

“I think it’s something that shouldn’t be as common, but it is. I can only imagine what people were going through at the Chiefs’ parade and how they were affected by it,” Krebs said.

I myself was involved in the Highland Park mass shooting. As a participant in the parade, I can vividly remember the pure terror that I, as well as everyone, experienced. Having to run from the danger without my parents or friends was terrible, and I  recall feeling completely helpless. That experience is something I never want anyone else to have to go through. 

With tragedies like these occurring too frequently, we cannot afford to sit idly by any longer. We need change, and we need it now. This concerns the safety of American people. Think about the children who lost their mother during this parade; their lives are permanently altered. There seems to be a trend across the nation where we are not motivated to make change until we are directly affected by the issue. Are we going to wait until something like this happens to our own family or friends to incite change? I pray not. 

It pains me that innocent people are so often caught in the crossfire of events like these, and I wish my voice was loud enough to make a difference on its own. However, it’s not; but, as a community, our united voices can be heard louder. Call for change, vote for those who support gun regulation, and we can achieve a safer America for all.

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About the Contributor
Stella Henretta, Staff Writer
 During the fall, junior Stella Henretta's committed to Varsity tennis, but switches gears to lacrosse during the spring. On weekends, Stella works as a coach at GLASA to help disabled athletes play tennis. She’s also a cashier at the Chicago Botanic Garden’s cafe, where she loves to take walks among the flowers after her shift. This school year, she hopes that through her cumulative experiences and knowledge, she will be successful in providing her readers with information about events happening both in and out of LFHS!
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Comments (10)

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  • J

    JasonFeb 26, 2024 at 4:59 pm

    In terms of US States, jurisdictions with stricter gun control tend to have higher crime rates and homicide rates. While this could easily be due to unrelated factors such as increased urbanisation, it makes clear the truth that gun restriction isn’t an effective safety measure. Despite constant warnings to the contrary, Ohio’s homicide rate dropped after the state enacted permitless concealed carry.

    Three outliers – Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama – have the highest rates of homicide in the state for several years. However, their history of segregation and poverty is a likely explanation for their crime rates. From 2o16 to 2020, those three states have had poverty rates of 19.58%, 18.65%, and 15.98% respectively. Poorer communities, especially those historically marginalised, are more likely to turn to crime and less likely to have the funding necessary to protect people from violent crime.

    Reply
    • A

      anonymousFeb 26, 2024 at 8:25 pm

      In that case, by your logic, do you suggest we outright ban the usage of guns? That seems to be the only plausible option if you think there is no worth in extra gun regulation.

      Reply
      • J

        JasonFeb 27, 2024 at 5:14 pm

        I’m just wondering, are you the same commenter as the other “anonymous” ? Regardless, both of you seem to be overlooking one simple fact:
        Terrorists and gangsters won’t comply with a gun ban, so it wouldn’t do anything to protect the people.

        Banning concealed carry would ensure that terrorists would face no resistance until the police intervene, and Uvalde showed that police are sometimes too cowardly to stop a mass shooting. An armed victim can stop the attacker, and this incident was stopped by a tackle.

        Banning in-home possession would leave hens at the mercy of the fox, people at the mercy of the rapist, families at the mercy of the robber, minorities at the mercy of the bigoted mob, and an entire populace at the mercy of whichever hopeful tyrant waltzes into office.

        While someone will always be far enough gone to harm civilians, addressing the root causes of violence is more effective than forcing terrorists to choose between the knife and the pipe bomb.

        Reply
      • J

        JasonFeb 28, 2024 at 1:32 pm

        You assume that a total ban on guns is effective enough to justify depriving people of their rights to self-defense and resistance. The people who would comply with such a ban aren’t likely to cause massacres and gang violence anyways, so it would only serve the purpose of disarming the victims.

        The only effective solutions are to address the motives behind domestic terrorism and to ensure that everyone can intervene to effectively save lives.

        We should work to address the societal conditions which cause people to lash out violently. Funding voluntary mental health services is also great, but we should remember that involuntary psychiatry is torture.

        Since neither police nor ambulances can travel instantaneously, we should reduce casualties by training normal people to stop the threat and render first aid. If everyone has a handgun and an IFAK, the shooter will be stopped more quickly and the injured will be less likely to die.

        Reply
        • J

          JasonFeb 28, 2024 at 3:03 pm

          The above comment was typed when I doubted that my other reply to you would ever be shown to the public.

          Reply
        • J

          JasonFeb 28, 2024 at 3:08 pm

          Today, I too hastily typed up a comment (Feb 28 at 1:32PM) in fear that your response would go unaddressed due to how long my original response was waiting for approval.

          I am sorry for any aggressive repetitiveness which the combination of comments would imply.

          Reply
          • J

            JasonFeb 29, 2024 at 12:16 pm

            It happened again. Sorry.

        • A

          anonymousMar 1, 2024 at 8:44 am

          I completely agree that the methods you described above are good ways of tackling gun violence and alleviating the threat of carriers who may be associated with gangs or may have mental challenges, but I also don’t think that leaving legislation as it is is a good approach, even considering addressing “the motives behind domestic terrorism.” In my opinion, we still need some added regulations to set the precedent of a universal understanding that violence should no longer be tolerated. I have many perspectives on the second amendment which makes it hard to consider how, if we were to ban all gun-usage for general citizens, they would be able to protect themselves against the inevitable violence that domestic groups may bring; however, this is why I believe that we need stricter purchasing laws regarding background checks, etc.

          Reply
          • J

            Jason KowalskiMar 6, 2024 at 3:07 pm

            For the purposes of this post, I won’t be arguing from the “every restriction is an infringement” perspective.

            As of current, every gun store is required to have their buyers file form 4473, which asks several questions about criminal history, demographics, and the firearm to be purchased. This form is used as part of the NICS background check, in which the FBI determines whether you have a history of crime, insanity, or controlled substances. This background check often clears in less than a few hours.

            Most people who advocate for improved background checks ignore that we already have them in place. Red-flag laws can too easily be abused by exes and in-laws, and they presume guilt. A waiting period serves no practical purpose. Most feature-specific state laws, and even the federal Title II restrictions, reduce the usability of arms in legitimate cases without impacting their use in massacres.

            Politics is a game of negotiation. Assuming trust and a sufficient counterfavor*, I’d be fine with expanding the NICS check to private transfers. If state-level AWBs are upheld by SCOTUS, federal preemption against those bans would be a sufficient counterfavor.

    • J

      JasonFeb 27, 2024 at 4:59 pm

      No, since a ban on firearms wouldn’t be effectively enforced against those who would commit massacares or gang violence, but it would disarm the many who seek to protect themselves.

      The only effective solution is to, while addressing the root causes of violence, focus on neutralising attackers as soon as possible. Hence why I support low-restriction carry, and why I oppose any effort to render the people defenseless from criminals and oppressors.

      Reply