A grandmother reflects on the MSU shootings

February 17, 2023

A grandmother reflects on the MSU shootings

Letters to the editor are opinion editorials submitted by readers. Letters to the editor are a long tradition in American journalism. The views and opinions of the writer do not necessarily reflect those of Mason County Press, its staff or its parent company. For more information, please refer to MCP’s Op/Ed policy.

Dear Editor:

According to ABC news, there have been 67 mass shootings in America since January 1, 2023 (see editor’s note below). On Monday, February 13 the mass shooting at MSU became very personal. My granddaughter left our community in August to attend MSU as a freshman to pursue a degree in journalism. My daughter called us Monday evening informing us that there was an active shooter on the campus of MSU. 

She told us how to get on the scanner app that would keep us informed on what was going on. My granddaughter remembered her lockdown drill training from high school and she and her two roommates shut off the lights, got away from the three windows in her  first floor dorm room, got their cell phones and went into their bathroom, shut the door and became silent. 

My granddaughter was able to keep in contact with her parents by texting and she was being relayed information on what was going on by her parents listening to the scanner. They had to live in terror for over four hours, listening to noises outside their room not knowing if it was the shooter or police. 50,023 MSU students and staff instantly became victims of trauma by one 43 year old man that was attempting to kill/injure as many people as possible. Innocence was lost; now these 50,023 students/staff know very certainly that evil people exist in their world. 

These students are in college to better themselves and be productive citizens in our world. My granddaughter along with the other students/staff are experiencing sadness, grief, anger, anxiety and trauma that will not just go away when classes resume. Families are also deeply affected by this mass shooting. The terror that parents, siblings, grandparents, extended family and friends went through while watching the news or listening to the scanner while the gunman was running around on campus for over 4 hours is not going to just go away anytime soon. 

One of my granddaughter’s professors e-mailed his students saying that he witnessed his students getting shot while teaching a class in Berekey Hall. This is not how life is supposed to be. Action needs to be taken. I am going to be contacting government officials for help in preventing this destruction of life that is occurring at an alarming rate. Will my voice be heard? I do not know, but I can try.      

Cindy Boerema


Editor’s note: According to Britannica, a “mass shooting,” also called “active shooting incident” is defined by the FBI as an event in which one or more individuals are “actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area. Implicit in this definition is the shooter’s use of a firearm.”  

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