Students inattentive in wake of violence in area

Brian Myers
senior features editor

Here is a not-so-fun fact: According to a study by the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention, Rockville had 1,141 instances of crime during 2016. This past summer, this area was hit close to home by mass shootings in Aberdeen, Annapolis and Silver Spring. With the sudden rise in violence recently, one must ask if he or she is truly safe in Montgomery County.

Students may not be inclined to prepare themselves for an emergency situation because of the usual priorities, such as family, friends, work or school. “It’s really sad,” senior Peroshat Barnoshian said. “I don’t think people are so alarmed by these stories because it’s such a common thing now.”

In fact, popular TV shows like South Park and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit made the same observation in their most recent episodes, both targeting public inaction toward gun violence. Another question is how this community will react when hearing about local violence. “No matter what, I think we will become less active in our approach as time goes on because violence will just become a natural thing,” Barnoshian said.

In sophomore Tejas Ganeshan’s mind, politics and sports are also primary reasons why a person may be distracted from focusing on issues of violence. “I do not hear violence often,” Ganeshan said, “but I bet all this ignorance makes the victims’ families feel hopeless, like these incidents will be less likely to be reported in the future.”

As a teenager, Ganeshan admits that younger people like him will probably care less than adults about ongoing crime reports in the area. “Adults feel more inclined to report violence because they are more mature and have experience,” Ganeshan said.

On the other hand, Spanish teacher Meredith Lange said that she hears about violence every day from the news. “I am worried because I hear of people resorting to violence whenever they don’t know what else to turn to in a disagreement,” Lange said. “As teachers we are only given so much insight of what to do in the moment, but I am worried because I think a violent event would still be mass chaos.”

“As teachers we are only given so much insight of what to do in the moment…”
– Meredith Lange, Spanish teacher

In agreement with Barnoshian, Lange predicts that people will only continue to become less active in response to reports like those of the Aberdeen and Annapolis shootings. “It’s very unfortunate because we almost skipped over how to deal with these events in the moment,” Lange said. “Meanwhile, there are people out there who have not been taught how to react appropriately in a confrontation and stand up strongly against it.”

One silver lining in the absence of substantial local activism against crime is that there are ways for the community to ensure that violence does not continue to spread. Anyone can take action to try to prevent violence, simply by taking notice. “Violence should be reported no matter how small it seems,” Ganeshan said.

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