Tragic coincidence: Santa Fe shooting happened on day of Carrboro High play about gun violence

Posted May 18, 2018 2:55 p.m. EDT
Updated May 19, 2018 12:33 a.m. EDT

— Students from Carrboro High School used the performing arts Friday night to hash out issues of gun violence and gun control. The performance, "A Night for the Fight Against Gun Violence," was planned before the most recent school shooting in Texas claimed national headlines and 10 lives.

The performance, included "short plays, monologues and a documentary," to shed light on the spike is mass shootings and the peace movement sparked by America's youth.

"I think that tonight is just about hopefully inspiring people to do things in their community to fight against gun violence," student Ellanya Atwater said. "So many school shootings have happened. So many shootings have happened this year, and I just think that our generation has to be the people to let everyone know we're not going to tolerate it."

Deadliest mass shootings in the United States

There is no set definition for the term "mass shooting" but in 2015 the Congressional Research Service produced a report that limited "mass shooting" to those that in which four or more people were killed. That is the measure used for this chart.

While most of the shootings listed here occurred since 2000, Columbine is included because of its notoriety; the 1986 shooting at the post office in Edmond, Okla., is included because it is the origin of the grim term "going postal."

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Source: Media reports, compiled by WRAL

As the performance had been in the works for months, students had to make changes Friday after they learned of the fatal shooting in Texas.

"We added a small section to the film about the Santa Fe shooting, and we had to amend it like three different times as more details came out," Atwater said.

Since the February shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., high school students across the country and across the Triangle have raised their voices and been activated to demand a political response to the epidemic of mass shootings in the United States.

Students walked out of schools across the country on March 14 to mark a month after the Florida attack that killed 17, and they led a national "March for Our Lives" on March 24 that brought millions to the streets of cities from Raleigh to Washington, D.C.

At Sanderson High School in Raleigh, students are planning a forum May 29 with state senators, school board members, police and school safety officers, mental health professionals and students to brainstorm about gun violence, gun rights, mental health and overall school safety.