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University President Jim Ryan denounces mass shootings

Ryan noted that the University community can play an active role in preventing future incidents

<p>Ryan concluded with a reminder to check in on friends or family members who may be feeling isolated or upset by the tragedies of the past two weeks.</p>

Ryan concluded with a reminder to check in on friends or family members who may be feeling isolated or upset by the tragedies of the past two weeks.

University President Jim Ryan responded to the recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, Laguna Woods, California and Uvalde, Texas in a tweet Thursday morning. In the statement, Ryan emphasized that these incidents should not be accepted as a normal occurrence and urged members of the University community to check in with colleagues and friends.

Despite the frequency of mass shootings in the U.S. Ryan stressed that these incidents should not be viewed as a part of everyday life. Not even halfway through the calendar year, the U.S. has seen at least 22 school shootings and over 200 mass shootings in 2022.

“We shouldn’t accept that this is normal or routine, or simply the price of living in a democracy,” Ryan said. “It’s not normal — it’s obscene.”

Ryan referred to the three most recent mass shootings — which occurred in the span of just two weeks — as “senseless and horrific.” 

The third and most recent incident occurred Tuesday at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, where a gunman killed 19 students and two teachers. Officials say the gunman remained on school premises for as long as an hour before law enforcement was able to forcibly enter the classroom. 

The incident in Uvalde is the second deadliest shooting at a K-12 school since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012 — where a gunman killed 20 children and six adults.

In Buffalo, a gunman inspired by white supremacist ideology shot and killed 10 people and injured three more at a supermarket May 14. Nearly all of the victims were Black, making the mass shooting one of the deadliest racially-motivated incidents in recent American history.

In Laguna Woods, a gunman shot and killed one person and injured five others at a Taiwanese church May 15. The congregation had just finished a lunch banquet when shots rang out.

Even though the shootings occurred across the country, Ryan said the University community has the ability to help prevent future incidents.

“I remain convinced that our University has a role to play — in our research and our teaching — in combating the conditions that led to these and many other mass shootings,” Ryan said.

Ryan concluded with a reminder to check in on friends or family members who may be feeling isolated or upset by the tragedies of the past two weeks.

“In the meantime, I’d ask all of us to check in with colleagues and friends,” Ryan said. “Sorrow and grief aren’t always visible or audible, even when they are there.”

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