Melanie Arougueti/Staff Writer
Halloween is behind us and November has begun. But while some families prepare for Thanksgiving and the following holidays, other families lie in shock in the aftermath of a string of Halloween shootings.
Halloween in all its horror has met another of its monsters: the culture of fear and violence in America.
In Orinda, California, a shooting took place at an Airbnb house party for Halloween. Three people were pronounced dead at the scene and two more people died afterwards as a result of the gunshot wounds. Multiple people were injured.
In Chicago, Illinois, horror struck too. A 7-year-old girl was critically injured after she was shot by a 15-year-old boy. He is being tried with attempted murder among other charges.
Halloween, while scary, is supposed to be a fun holiday where everyone can dress up and play pretend. Today, Halloween has mixed with violence and created real horror.
As a college student in Miami, I attended Wynwood’s popular HalloWYN Block Party. There, DJs lined up and music blasted in a busy public area inhabited by teenagers and college students.
While dancing to the music with a group of friends, I couldn’t help but take a look at the security of the area. I didn’t see many police or security where everyone was dancing; I did notice some security by the side, but they were dressed in a simple t-shirt that could have easily been a costume. The police were in the streets directing some traffic, but other than that, their presence wasn’t shown.
As I watched the DJ on the stage, I wondered what direction I would run to if one of the guns attached to a man’s police costume was real.
Despite the fear I felt, there are some precautions we can take. The solution can’t be to just not go out and live your life. If we live in fear, we’re just adding to the culture of fear and violence that leads to this vast amount of mass shootings.
Anyone, not just students, in a populated place like a concert, school or movie theater should be aware of their surroundings and know the exit signs. Additionally, we can try and petition to add detectors in common places. Some places have added this for security reasons, and the people who set up these events in theaters and bigger social gatherings can also add cameras.
I used to fear the Haunted House advertisements and face masks that seem a little to real, but now I fear knowing that a shooting just might take place here and now around me. Perhaps this is what we should really be afraid of.
Featured photo courtesy of Erin Kinney on Flickr.
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