When I first heard about the shooting at Oikos University earlier this month that killed seven students, it stood out to me as one of the most devastating killing sprees on a college campus since the Virginia Tech incident in 2007.
Out of the school shootings that have made headlines the past few years Oikos was one of the more obscure schools — a private Christian instituiton outside of Oakland, Calif., that offers master’s and bachelor’s degree programs prominently in theology and music.
But much like both the massacres at Virginia Tech that were five years apart and the shooting that killed five Northern Illinois University students in February 2008, the motive of revenge was on the shooter’s mind. Former Oikos University nursing student One L. Goh was reportedly looking to avenge remarks made toward his poor english when he searched the campus for a female administrator and open fired on students lined up against a classroom wall.
As the prevalence of these shootings on college campuses continue, organizations have been finding creative ways to spread awareness of the role gun control laws in these states play in the shootings. The organization React to Film has screened a documentary entitled Living for 32, which chronicles the life of former Virginia Tech student turned activist Colin Goddard. I viewed it last week here at Ithaca College, and it will be screened at other institutions such as Tulane University and Yale University later this month.
While the film is an excellent indicator of how Goddard was able to overcome the prognosis that he would never walk again after being shot four times, the ease at which the shooter was able to access weapons in the first place amazed me. The footage that shows how the guns were purchased without proper paperwork, registration or dentification is truly horrifying and displays the roots of the issue. It will be up to state and federal lawmakers to make sure these weapons don’t end up in the wrong hands, not only for the sake of universities across the country, but all educational institutions.