It's our turn.
Thanks to those of you who checked in on email, Facebook and otherwise to see if Rick and I were OK after the tragic shooting at Michigan State University. We are. We live about two miles from campus and about two miles from where the shooter killed himself after his campus rampage. We heard (and Rick saw) police cars and helicopters. And we were up very late, trying to wrap our heads around what happened.
|Photo: Mike Mihalus|
Michigan State has both glorious and not-so-good connotations for me, having done both my undergraduate and graduate work there, working at the university for 32 years and volunteering for WKAR before that, and volunteering with the university theatre after I retired.
Those are the good times. Times of laughter in the dorms.
Enjoying outdoor theatre on a lovely summer evening.
Long walks through the university's beautiful gardens.
Many have said we have one of the most beautiful campuses in the United States and with its origins as an agricultural college, that's not surprising. Wherever it fits on that continuum, it certainly is a stunner, especially in the spring when the blossoms come out in force..
...and the classic buildings in the old part of campus look their best.
It's had its problems too -- Larry Nasser comes to mind, but he is far from being the only scandal at MSU, just one of the more public ones. I've seen how the sausage is made and it isn't always as pretty as a flowering tree or as tranquil as ducklings on the Red Cedar River in the spring. On a somewhat lighter note, we may be the couch-burning capital of the world, because that's what students do when we lose championship game (along with turning over cars. Don't ask.)
But it has always felt relatively safe. Until now.
|Photo by Tamara Hicks Syron|
As you know by now -- because how could you miss it? -- three were killed, five in critical condition in a local hospital (all students), as I write this. The shooter is dead as well, from a self-inflicted gunshot.
Sixty-seven mass shootings in 2023 alone here in the U.S. Sixty-seven in the first six weeks of the year.
It's our turn. East Lansing and MSU have joined that long list of schools from elementary to college, Sandy Hook to Parkland and Uvalde to Virginia Tech. It's Michigan's second school shooting in less than two years (the other being a student shooting classmates at a high school in Oxford, Michigan.) And let's not forget the shootings in Buffalo or the L.A. dance studios, among others.
Thing is, it shouldn't be anyone's turn. No one wants a turn at being the next city or school or workplace to have to report deaths from gun shots.
We still don't know what kind of gun this shooter used, how he bought it, if he had a background check (probably not, in Michigan) or if he had extenuating mental health circumstances. He has no known affiliation with the U so we don't know why he decided to do this on an uncharacteristically temperate February night.
But something must be done. We say it after every shooting, almost like a mantra. Thoughts and prayers.
But nothing changes.
Whose turn is next? It shouldn't be anybody's turn. It should end.
I live 5 miles from a state campus and work a short walk to it. How does it stop? There is no easy solution. My heart is broken for all those students and their families
I knew the shootings were at Michigan State, and I thought that was near you, but I wasn't positive. I was wondering when I hear about it this morning. They never said on the news exactly where this campus was located. It's horrible. And I heard that there have been 67 mass shootings in 2023. It disgusted me when I heard it, and it does the same thing now. It's only February, which means if they go on at this rate, many many innocent people will die uselessly. The lesson is no one is safe right now. I am very glad to hear you and Rick are both OK. I do hope you feel safe in your home though, because I think after something like this even with the shooter no longer alive, I'd be a little freaked out that something could happen again. Let's hope not, but things don't seem to be changing at all. hugs-Erika
Dear Jeanie, I'm so sorry. It was a shock to see this news breaking last night, and horrifying to see the updated headlines this morning. Truly, between this event, the recent story about the guy in a U-Haul mowing down pedestrians in Brooklyn, and the countless other stories you mention, it feels like the world has become unhinged. Thanks for your own beautiful and heartfelt response here -- I hope you find solace with family and friends.
Scary, and yet year after year nothing gets done about it. :( I'm glad you and yours weren't hurt by any of it -physically anyway...
I had not heard about this shooting until I read your post. I am so very sorry for those who are grieving and shocked.
Those of us who live elsewhere in the world where such happenings are very, very rare wish so much that something tangible could be done to stop the violence.
More must be done to lessen/stop these terrible tragedies!! I'm not feeling very confident it will happen soon though, and there doesn't seem to be any really safe places anymore. How very sad.
Well, I guess there should always be some hope.
I'm glad you and Rick are ok!
This is a horrible story and a horrible overall situation in the United States. As the UK has shown, strict gun control laws can make a huge difference in limiting the harm one person can do. It's a crime that the United States is unable to enact sensible gun control legislation because of the money and power wielded by extremists.
Your campus is so beautiful! Love the landscape. Hard to believe that those murders occurred there. So senseless. The only solution really is to abolish the 2nd Amendment and all private gun ownership.
We have become the country of random killers. Breaks my heart that humans can be like this...the shooters and the government that doesn't see a reason to do something drastic about it. :(
It is sad these mass shooting are becoming a regular thing, my prayer go out to the victims and their families and the students and residents in the area.
Your photos show off a brighter and happier side to the college campus.
Happy Valentine's Day, have a great day!
The campus is indeed beautiful. The mass shooting is a scary event. Glad that you are ok
Prayers for everyone
I am glad you and Rick are all right. The experience is frightening. Please take time to care well for yourselves, love ones and friends dealing with the hurt.
Must end, yes.
And that can start with people not supporting violence in the gaming and entertainment industries.
People need the Lord.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30
The statue in the first picture is very impressive!
It's a crazy world! We used to have terror shootings. Now we have constant domestic shootings: husband shooting his wife, neighbor shooting another neighbor, and so on...Yes, something drastic should be done about gun control!
So very sad. No other words but a senseless tragedy. So many lives will never be the same. One of those killed was a former student of my BIL at Grosse Poinre. Janice
I am devastated! We must take steps to stop the madness.
Unfortunately these mass shooting are becoming all too regular, the numbers are crazy, something needs to change but I'm not sure it will.
My thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by this event.
On a more positive note, the gardens in your photographs are lovely.
Take care, my good wishes.
All the best Jan
Your photos show such beauty on the campus among such disturbing news. There is an epidemic of serious loneliness and despair and poorly treated mental illness in the USA and worldwide. Sad days. I am glad you are safe.
Sadly, I also read about this latest episode of senseless murders this morning, but until I read your post, Jeanie, I didn't recall that Michigan State was your alma mater. Something definitely needs to change in the US, bu when is the BIG questions and how many more killings will it take?
I didn’t realize you lived so close to the university Jeanie. Another heartbreaking shooting, lives lost, families and friends, victims recovering, will never be the same. My heart goes out to all of them, and to all of you who live near this campus. Seeing your photos, so lovely and hard to imagine this terrifying event in such pristine surroundings. Nothing ever seems to be done, one after another, it’s way past time!
Gigi ~ damn right!!!
But hardly surprising.
If the murder of little children at Sandy Hook wasn't going to bring about reasonable gun control, nothing ever will.
This is so upsetting Jeanie, and more than upsetting. Worrying. I have always loved your posts about the university - it looks so beautiful and not the kind of place that should have incidents like this. I know there's nothing I can really say to make it okay, that kind of shock takes a a while to process. Both you and Rick take care of yourselves, and of your many kind and good neighbours.
Such anguish and heartache again and virtually on your doorstep. You show the beautiful campus and share your Uni & working life there. It's not some far-off land in this post it's Jeanie's backyard and I feel your and everyone's pain. I'm praying for change.
Thinking of you. Love you friend.
These shootings are always so terrrible, fuelled by hate and too many weapons which are much too easily obtained. Glad you stayed safe. Hugs, Valerie
Heard about this yesterday:(
I can't stand all the violence.
If they own own a gun they use the bus they drive to plow into a daycare killing innocent 3-5 yr olds( this week in Laval)What drives people to harm..kill.I can imagine having such close ties to the Uni you are devastated.
I am sorry for everyone's losses.
Ban the F***ing guns!
Amen. Well Said. I'm sick of heart with the constant attacks.
I'm glad you and Rick are OK. Such a shame so many others are not though.
I didn't know you were so close to the shootings. Glad you two are OK.
I feel your pain Jeanie and this is happening more and more. I'm thankful you and Rick were safe, I didn't realize you lived near the university. We live close to ours as well, only about five miles. I guess it's not just schools and universities but everywhere we go now, public and private. It's so hard to believe this is happening in our country!
My American geography is pathetic. I had no idea you were close.
Then, there is my memory. Even if I known, I wouldn't remember. Sad state of affairs.
We look at these horrors with shock.
Our neighbour is still lauding big guns. I shudder.
When events like this are met with resignation instead of outrage, how can there be hope for change?
When mass shootings are blamed on the entertainment culture, on the lack of mental health support, on any contributory factor, how can there be hope for change?
Guns are too available. Small children as well as adults respond with lethal gunfire, unable to employ any other means of conflict resolution. I live in a rural area where the roadside church signs list times of worship along with classes for gun owners. It's just too common, too ordinary, too normalized.
So relieved that you and Rick are okay, though I know it messes with your sense of well being.
Absolutely sickening. When will it reach its tipping point?
How tragic this is. Thank goodness you and Rick are safe. There is too much violence in this world. It seems like it never ends, more and more each day. It's a scary world now.
Another horrific tragedy and this time so close to you. My heart goes out to those students. No safe place. Thanks for this tribute to the U of M. What a beautiful campus. If I ever visit Michigan, this will be on my must-see list.
Oh Jeanie, I'm so sorry, I didn't hear about this. I don't have cable anymore, so don't get the news as quick as I used to. This is so tragic. I'm glad to hear you're ok, and how scary that it's close to where you live. Your last words are so true, Jeanie. Take care.
Sandy Hook is still shocking here in Connecticut, still raw. 67 shootings in the first two months of this year, it's just hideous. And how do we stop that madness? I'm sure you are heartbroken for your beloved University and those people affected. Ugh, what is the answer....
Hello Jeanie :=) Shocking news, which I didn't know about until I read about the tragic death of students at the Michigan State University. I really hate guns, and my heart felt sympathy goes to the grieving parents. The statistics of shooting in other schools beggers belief. Why can't the law be changed!
Your photos of he campus gardens in different circumstances are lovely. The flowering trees and the manicured lawn are beautiful.
All the best.
such a tragedy and I can understand how you were so affected living so close by. Very Very scary and traumatizing. We live an hour from the Parkland shooting but my brother in law lives 5 minutes away. I pray for your community to heal.
I will never understand the mentality that puts guns before children's lives.
Oh Jeanie, I had no idea you lived so close and had so many ties to the college~ such a heart wrenching tragedy, and very unsettling that it happened so close by. Last year their was a shooting at an Episcopal church in the upscale suburb where I live and our whole community was shocked. You're right, it is happening everywhere, and sometimes I'm afraid to go out. Prayers can't stop this but they do help...
Jeanie, I didn’t realize you lived so close. I immediately thought of you when I heard the news. It is a horrible tragedy for those students and their families, I can’t even imagine the heartbreak.
Absolutely shocking Jeanie. Glad you both are safe. This kind of dastardly acts are happening more frequently.
You must be having so many beautiful memories of the University. This must disturb them all.
Gosh, I think it becomes so "normal" it not always ends up in our German news no more! Sad. Both!
That is really a beautiful uni. What a "chicken" that shooter was. Why not only shoot yourself if you´re sick of living.
Glad guns are not such a huge problem here. Just knives, axes and such. Weird people find weapons. And kill people.
There even was one (or more) The Simpsons episode(s) on this shooting in schools.
When you have to be afraid to send your kid to school,... no words for that.
Prayers won´t help I guess. They must DO something!
My Mum was severly sick in the last months of cancer.
She had a gun from our Father on the board in our private place. I have no clue how police knew, but they came in and wanted to arrest her for that!
My Brother in an instant went to the store, got a safe and put the weapon in there. And showed the police, got it registered.
Crazy. As if my Mum ... it´s right, though.
Just what if someone breaks in at night and you want to defend yourself????
"Oh, sorry, Mr (or Mrs or people), please wait I need to get the key and open my safe, then put in bullets and then put the gun on "F" and then we can go on"???
We live in a crazy world...
This, btw is how I lost most of the hearing on my right ear.
Ingo wanted to show me how to use a non-leathal weapon and it went loose.
That was when dumb ex-chancellor Merkel without thinking let in all (mostly male) refugees who raped women here later then.
I was just called "whore" for not hiding my head (not face).
Sorry this is such a long comment.
But my ear gives me trouble ever since. Due to a weapon. And seeing all those incidents in your country...
I want to visit, but, weee.... think twice?
Then again. An axe could hit me from behind, you never know.
This is Lisa - my won’t let me log into my google account. I am so sorry this happened - yet again. I had not heard about it since I’ve been traveling and life has been chaotic lately so we haven’t had the news on. I hate that these shootings continue to happen and nothing changes. Other countries have gun laws and fewer shootings but we can’t do the same here in the US. It is sickening!!
It's mentally exhausting, yes, to constantly see these shootings on the news, but to have it so close to home? I can't even begin to wrap my brain around the terror of this happening in one's own safe backyard. The closest we've been is Parkland, when we were renting in Florida. We went to pay our respects at the school that year, and what was so vivid, was this looked just like OUR local high school....th kids and families walking around looked just like OUR neighbors. It shook me to my core to see up close and personal just how easily it could be our turn someday. And we are at the mercy of those in power who do nothing.
Oh my gosh, that is way to scary for it being that close and the connection you have. I hate that for you. Like you, I agree, something has to give. I heard on the news this morn where there have been 71 mash shootings this yr. More days than we have been through since Jan. Not sure what needs to happen, but it needs to happen soon
It looks like a grat campus. Sorry it was your turn. I guess it ws somebody else’s the very next day. 😢
I am glad to hear you are ok. These shootings are terrible.
Condolences from not quite THAT close to Virginia Tech...It's a classic homicide-suicide. If the news media would report honestly which drug he was on, these stories might stop rolling in every few weeks. As long as they're censoring key information at Lilly's behest, that won't happen...
Another example of what's good differing from what's nice.
Gun violence is escalating yet nothing is being done by our government and public opinion seems to be "buy more guns.". In my life, I never believed that I or my children could ever be a victim of gun violence but now sadly, horribly, I worry constantly for my grandchildren.
I didn't realize just how closely affiliated you were to MSU. I'm so sorry this happened.
Sorry to hear this shooting was in your home town Jeanie. So sad to hear that 67 shooting have happened in six weeks!! I wish the law makers would do something about gun control! I imagine how shaken up and scared you would be with something like this happening close to home. A big hug Jeanie.
The University campus is beautiful.
I'm also behind in blog reading, but have been working extra hours due to a colleague on leave, then busy making a digital photobook to be printed for my Dad's 90th birthday and organizing life, as I'm flying to Portugal first week of March for the birthday. Life is hectic at the moment!
Sadly, this guy had legal, albeit unregistered guns. And they were NOT even AK 47s or similar, but hand guns. Plenty of clips, but not shooting 100 rounds in seven seconds or something ridiculous like that. Seems we get upset when it's an automatic rifle, but hand guns won't even be a blip on congress's radar. I feel for you and I feel for your concerns. They are mine, too.
My heart breaks for all the victims and their loved ones.
So glad you and Rick are safe and sound.
On a brighter note, I enjoyed seeing the beautiful photos you shared.
Hugs and blessings, Jeanie.
This has gone on much too long and unfortunately, I don’t see an end in sight. I just read this morning that the Republicans are against background checks for ALL gun sales because it “infringes on the Second Amendment”. Our forefathers would be rolling over in their graves if they knew what all has happened today because of this Amendment. This is not what they envisioned. I thought perhaps we might see some change after the Parkland shooting, but our lawmakers are a bunch of whimps!
When there's a shooting so close to home, it hits us in the gut.
The last year I was working, my husband came to our school to share his rock collection. My school was a primary school, PreK to second grade only, little kids. He was in the middle of his spiel with three kinder classes when we got that horrible signal to go into lockdown. Immediately we filed the sixty five-year-olds into the backroom of the library while I locked the library doors and then locked the doors to the backroom. No windows, of course, and we had to be as quiet as possible. We didn't know what was going on, but we were all scared. While we were in the backroom, a small storage room, really, I got a text that there was an active shooter at Sante Fe High School, a neighboring school just down the road from my town. Another text from a fellow teacher let us know that shooter's parents were divorced, and that the shooter's dad lived in a neighborhood a mile from our school. Still another text suggested that the shooter had attended our school when he was little (which we later learned was not true) so our anxieties were heightened even further.
We stayed in lockdown for several hours until the shooter was found and arrested. He killed ten people.
I'll never forget that day, locked into the storeroom with all those little children who didn't really understand what was going on, scared, horrified.
I didn't know about the killings, I'm glad you're both ok. Will it ever stop, will any politicians have the backbone to enforce gun control.
People here in my part of the state were deeply effected by the shootings so close to you. I wrote about it for my tomorrow's posts---as close as my next door neighbor. I just don't get why so many people in the House and Senate cannot seem to grow a pair and do something to try to stop the carnage.
I thought about you when I heard about this one. I don't know what the answers are, but you're so right that these need to stop. We shouldn't have to ask which one when someone mentions a shooting.
I'm so sorry, Jeanie! It must have be really awful for you. All these shootings are senseless. I've been through it in my own community, Aurora. We've had so many in the Denver metro area. There are laws we could pass if we had the courage and the votes. It's going to keep happening because people won't stand up to gun-supporting politicians and the gun lobby. I have been held under gunpoint more than once, and I have been locked my classroom and comforted my students in too many lockdowns. I was not the least bit surprised when we did nothing after Uvalde. As a country we value guns more than we value the lives of our people. That's the reality. I'm so discouraged. We can't give up though. Hugs to you!
I so agree with you. No one should take a turn at this. Once our peace is shattered by violence it's difficult to put it back together again. As Fundy Blue wrote, " we can't give up." Ever.
I am so very sorry that you are experiencing this and so very mad that anyone in the United States has to go through this...It is time we stand up and let our voices be heard through our elected officials and if they do not want to honor our wishes then it is time for them to be voted out of office and those that will do something about it, actually be put in office....This should not be happening in America or anywhere....I can only imagine how you feel....Again, I am so very sorry that you have to go through this but sadly, it seems none of us are safe and no community is exempt from it happening in their community...I hope you are feeling better soon ( sinus issues) and thank you so much for stopping by and always commenting!! I truly do appreciate it!!
I did not realize you lived so close to campus!!! I would have been worried to death had I known that. Something must be done about the mental health crisis in our country, but nothing seems to ever happen.
I hope you've had a nice weekend, and have found some joy. Take care!
I am with you. I am sick and tired of hearing about these freaking guns and these senseless shootings. I am sick tired of having to send my kids to school hoping them come back home in the afternoon. Ban the f#$%ing guns!
I'm so sorry.
Your beautiful photos and memories and then the tragedy that just recently happened.
No wonder you have a difficult time wrapping your minds around it.
It definitely needs to end. Each time is so sad. I am so sad it has now hit your city. We don't wish this for anyone. We wish for safety for all and to feel safe in your own territory and wherever you go.
Sending love to all those that have lost.
How very sad, and especially scary so close to you.
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