For many MSU students, this was their 2nd school shooting

We all know the story by now. February 13th was the day before the 5th anniversary of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, and the 15th anniversary of the shooting at Northern Illinois University. Barely anyone remembers NIU, even though it was one of the most deadly school shootings at the time. In the past 15 years, there have been so many more deadly school shootings that make NIU look like a church picnic. But, I digress.

On February 13th, there was a school shooting at Michigan State University in Lansing, Michigan. At around 8pm local time, 43-year-old Anthony McRae began firing at students in Berkey Hall before moving on to the MSU student Union. Before it was all said and done, McRae had shot and killed three MSU students. Those killed were 20-year-old Alexandria Verner, 20-year-old Brian Fraser, and 19-year-old Arielle Anderson. Five other students were wounded in the shooting.

(Brian Fraser, Arielle Anderson, Alexandria Verner)

McRae was able to flee campus grounds without being apprehended. However, security cameras got a pretty clear shot of McRae.

After that photo was released by police, an ‘alert citizen’ recognized McRae and alerted police. They caught up with McRae five miles away from campus as McRae was walking home. When police asked McRae to show his hands, he reportedly produced a handgun and took his own life, aka ‘the coward’s way out’.

While no concrete motive for the shooting has been determined, one theory is that McRae ‘felt slighted’ in his life. After McRae shot himself, police found a note in his pocket. The note mentioned a couple of schools McRae attended in New Jersey during his childhood but also a Michigan church, and his former employer where he worked in a warehouse. McRae was fired from that job. He was asked to leave after having issues with other employees.

McRae had no obvious connection with the university outside of living in Lansing.

McRae was carrying two semiautomatic handguns and also a backpack which contained eight fully loaded magazines, a smaller bag with 50 loose rounds, and another loaded magazine was in his breast pocket. The guns were said to have been purchased legally, but had not been registered.

McRae has had previous run-ins with the law regarding guns. In 2019, he was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon without a permit. Wait, some states still require a CCW permit? It’s hard to keep track with so many states getting rid of them.

Anyway, carrying without a CCW permit is a felony in Michigan. However, McRae entered a plea deal where the charge was reduced to a misdemeanor. If McRae had been convicted of the felony, he would have no longer been able to purchase a firearm. I know I’m far from being an attorney, or even a paid non-attorney spokesperson, but this is a good example of why gun crimes should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I understand a great number of criminal convictions are obtained through plea deals, but some DA or prosecutor somewhere needs to start taking a stand. I’m not saying we should send someone who is carrying without a permit to death row, but people who blatantly disregard the few gun laws we have on the books should have restricted access to firearms. And the laws need to be applied evenly as well. Billy Bob shouldn’t get a pass because he knows the boys down at the Sheriff’s Office.

Shootings like this will also get the gun nerds on their soapboxes. Since McRae used handguns in the shooting, the gun nerds will argue that the AR-15 isn’t really the chosen weapon of mass shooters. Therefore, there should be no ban or any kind of regulation for assault weapons. I prefer to look at it another way. The deadliest school shooting in US history was the one at Virginia Tech. One man, and I use that term loosely, killed 32 people and wounded another 22 with just two handguns. So by gun nerd logic we should not only be regulating assault weapons but handguns as well. I couldn’t agree more.

Speaking of the gun nerds, days after the shooting, you may have seen this picture being circulated on social media.

Like many schools, MSU has a rock where students are allowed to spray paint messages. As you can see, ‘How many more?’ is more than a fair question. Apparently, the resident gun nerds at MSU didn’t care too kindly for this message. They painted over the rock with a message of, “Allow us to defend ourselves & carry on campus”. College campuses don’t need a bunch of idiot frat boys having a shootout on campus because one of them mistakenly thought the other was an active shooter. Again, most gun nerds are just waiting for an excuse to shoot someone. As I am fond of saying, the answer to gun violence isn’t more guns, as that’s like trying to cure cancer with more cancer.

As far as a response from politicians, I haven’t seen any ‘thoughts and prayers’ from Republicans. I’m sure they’re out there, but I haven’t seen them.

Democrats, on the other hand, have not held back what they’re really thinking.

US Representative from Michigan Elissa Slotkin said…

“As a representative of Oxford, Michigan, I cannot believe that I’m here again doing this 15 months later. I am filled with rage that we have to have another press conference to talk about our children being killed in their schools. And I would say that you either care about protecting kids or you don’t. You either care about having an open and honest conversation about what is going on in our society, or you don’t.”

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, an MSU grad herself, said the following…

“As parents we tell our kids, it’s gonna be OK. We say that all the time,” Whitmer said. “But the truth is words are not good enough. We must act, and we will.”

In her State of the State Address last month, Governor Whitmer said what most of us are thinking…

“The time for thoughts and prayers is over,” Whitmer said in a statement after the address. “It’s time for common-sense action.”

However, the quote of the day has to go to State Representative Ranjeev Puri…

“Fuck your thoughts and prayers,” Rep. Ranjeev Puri, D-Canton, said in a statement.

If I lived in Michigan, this guy would definitely have my vote.

But what I really wanted to talk about is the fact that, to my knowledge, this is the first school shooting where students have survived their second school shooting. Not surprisingly, many MSU students were students of Oxford High back in November 2021. That’s when a 15-year-old shot and killed four students with the gun his parents bought him.

There was even an MSU student who witnessed the shooting at Sandy Hook in 2012 who was present at this latest shooting.

To be honest, I’m surprised it took this long for there to be people who have survived multiple school shootings. Not too long ago, I commented on one of my socials that pretty soon mass shootings will be like COVID in that we’ll eventually all know someone who’s been in one. Still, school shootings have continued unabated for at least 25 years without removing the most obvious part of the school shooting equation. You can’t have a school shooting if there’s nothing to shoot with. Meanwhile, we have members of Congress wearing AR-15 lapel pins who want to proclaim the AR-15 as the official gun of America.

To these politicians and people like them, I would like to relay the experiences of the MSU students who experienced the shooting in their own words.

MSU student Jackie Matthews is the student who witnessed Sandy Hook and had the following to say…

“It was immediate instinct,” she explains. “I just ran downstairs, locked every door, shut all the blinds, turned all the lights off and came upstairs,” she adds. “We just locked ourselves in our rooms and tried to keep in touch with everybody that we could at the time, hoping everything was OK and trying to figure out and make sense of what was going on.”

Growing up in New Jersey in the 70s and 80s, we had fire drills. Now that I live in the Midwest, I hear about the tornado drills that students have to practice. Both of those things can naturally occur. The fact that active shooter drills have been a thing for decades, shows how much we’ve failed our children. Active shooters don’t start from the spark of a loose wire, or from the formation of clouds.

Here’s MSU student Dominik Molotky…

“I was ducking and covering, and the same with the rest of the students. He let off four more rounds and when it went silent for about 30 seconds to a minute, two of my classmates started breaking open a window, and that took about 30 seconds to happen. There was glass everywhere,” Molotky said.

“After that, we broke out the window and I climbed out of there, and then I booked it back to my apartment,” he said. He was unsure whether gunfire hit any of the students.

I can’t say I’m not reminded of the image of a wounded Patrick Ireland desperately trying to escape through a window during Columbine.

Now, let’s hear from MSU sophomore Claire Papoulias…

“There was a boy in my class, and he was waiting outside the window, and he was catching people and helping people down,” she said. “As soon as I fell out of the window I kind of hit the ground a little. I just grabbed my backpack and my phone, and I remember I just ran for my life.”

Most importantly, I want you to read the words of MSU student Ted Zimbo…

Ted Zimbo said he was walking to his dorm when he encountered a woman with a “ton of blood on her.”

“She told me, ‘Someone came in our classroom and started shooting,’” Zimbo told The Associated Press. “Her hands were completely covered in blood. It was on her pants and her shoes. She said, ‘It’s my friend’s blood.’”

Zimbo said the woman left to find a friend’s car while he returned to his SUV and threw a blanket over himself to hide for three hours.

Blood should not be the price of an education. No one should ever have to pay for knowledge with the price of their life.

During the pandemic, The Right and their red-hatted fanatics kept crying about how they didn’t want a ‘new normal’ with masks and mandates. Meanwhile, there’s been a new normal for the past 25 years, when every school student’s day at school could be their last. For the crime of learning, they could be executed by yet another selfish and entitled loser who bought a veritable arsenal with no questions asked.

It doesn’t matter who you are. You could have just gotten out of prison for pushing a bus full of orphans off a cliff onto a convent, and someone would be willing to sell you as many guns as you want in the name of the 2nd Amendment.

The life that our school kids are living isn’t the freedom the Redhats keep crowing about. It’s more a tyranny of fear, where the oppressors are cowards who care more about their shooty toys than the well-being of their fellow man.

Before I die, I’d love to see the government come for your guns, and I’d love to see you try to stop them.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.