Another Mass Shooting…

Julie Ballantyne Brown
8 min readFeb 20, 2023

Enough is enough

Photo by Dean on Unsplash

“There’s a shooter on campus, I’m in the music building I’m ok”

This was the first text that my youngest son sent last Monday night, as a mass shooter was murdering three people and shooting down five more on the Michigan State University campus, only a couple of blocks from where he was rehearsing. A parent’s worst nightmare.

He and his fellow jazz musicians had barricaded themselves in a piano lab in the music building, not far from Berkey Hall and the Union where victims were bleeding and dying. In addition to locking the door, they shoved pianos and front of it and were arming themselves with music stands and whatever else they could get their hands on.

He kept in touch the entire time. Out of fear, I foolishly and impulsively tried calling him the minute I saw his first text. It went straight to voicemail and he texted again, saying that he wasn’t going to take a call at the moment. Of course he wasn’t. He was being smart, following one of the cardinal rules of school lockdown drills.

Be quiet. Turn your ringer off. Don’t call anyone.

Run. Hide. Fight.

Things he had learned since he had started kindergarten, like all of Gen Z.

It was another four hours before the police announced that the shooter (who I…

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Julie Ballantyne Brown

Future London resident. Follow Julie on Twitter: @BrownBallantyne or on FB and Instagram: @JulieBallantyneBrown