By: Akshaya Sivakumar
Disclaimer: At KID, we believe that terrorists and those who inflict gun violence upon the public deserve neither recognition nor notoriety. For this reason, you will find the gunmen in question left completely nameless in all of our articles; time and time again, we choose to honor the identities of victims and survivors over the names of their killers and perpetrators. Thank you.
On February 13th, 2023, a 43-year-old gunman opened fire at 2 campus buildings at Michigan State University, killing students Alexandria Verner, Arielle Diamond Anderson, and Brian Fraser and injuring 5 others. Following this unfortunate incident, Michigan State canceled all classes for a week and ceased use of the 2 damaged buildings for the rest of the semester.
Police have failed to determine the shooter’s motivations but have discovered a note belonging to him and containing threats to MSU. The day of his shooting, the man died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound off campus, preventing authorities from gleaning further information regarding the event and its catalysts.
Reacting to the injustice the gunman inflicted upon their fellow classmates, Michigan State University students organized a sit-down protest at the State Capitol on February 15th. Rally leader Maya Manuel shared that their protests aimed to help the public "understand what's life like in our shoes and to understand how we feel." When legislators arrived to dismiss the rally, Manuel pleaded with them, urging, "Before you act like you understand us, please take a moment to sit with us and listen to us." They returned to the capitol on February 17th for an "End Gun Violence" protest.
In honor of these students, all flags in Michigan were flown at half-staff, and United States President Joe Biden expressed his condolences to MSU. The shooting at Michigan State University finally elicited action from the state government to pass laws that have been in the works for years, including before the 2021 shooting at Oxford High School in Oxford, Michigan. The Michigan state legislature passed laws including safe storage, universal background checks, tax exemptions for gun safety equipment, and extreme risk protection orders. Although these laws are merely a foundation for gun violence prevention, this progress was a huge win thanks to the years-long dedication and commitment of advocates, survivors and organizations across the state.