The faces we stand behind



Hana St. Juliana, Tate Myre, Justin Shilling, Madisyn Baldwin are all victims of the shooting.

Madisyn Baldwin. Tate Myre. Hana St. Juliana. Justin Shilling. On a Tuesday afternoon, tragedy struck Oxford High School in Michigan. After lunch, around 12:51 pm, a 15-year-old student opened fire on students and faculty and killed these four high school students with his father’s gun. This devastation should not have happened. Four families lost children and siblings that day because of the irresponsibility of our gun control system.

Four students at Oxford High School were killed and many were left with injuries. Friends and family members of these teenagers have come out to tell us more information about the victims.

Tate Myre was a dedicated football player who was on Oxford High School’s varsity team since his freshman year. The death of Myre left his brother, Ty Myre, in shock. The two siblings had a great relationship and were extremely close.

“I had such high hopes for your future, and I could not wait to see you make your dream come true and for me to be right by your side along that road,” Ty said on Instagram.  

Madisyn Baldwin was preparing to graduate her senior year at Oxford High School. She had already been accepted to several colleges with full scholarships. Baldwin had many goals for her life, all of which became impossible after the tragedy.

Hana St. Juliana was the youngest of the four victims at only 14 years old.

She was an athlete, playing volleyball and basketball, and has been remembered as a positive, happy, and kindhearted person who always enjoyed life to the fullest.

Unlike the other victims, Justin Shilling passed away a day after the school shooting.

Justin Shilling, a 17-year-old sports enthusiast, dedicated himself to the school’s bowling and golf team. He was known for his endless love for music and his family, and his kindness as he donated organs to those who needed them.

Sometimes tragedies like these can feel distant. It is only a far-off accident, something that could never happen here. And yet — Ethan Crumbley, the shooter, is an average 15-year-old student. Although his age does not and could never excuse his actions, the question remains — how did a 15-year-old, unable to legally drink or drive, have access to a gun and ammunition? How did someone who cannot even leave school without permission get a lethal weapon of mass murder? This is just one of the many shootings that we have had this year in America. With the increasing number of shootings, it brings up the chilling truth: guns kill.

Not having control over their own purchased weapons, James Crumbly and Jennifer Crumbley, Ethan Crumbly’s parents, gave the gun to their son as his birthday present. They gave him full authority while ignoring the danger of providing a deadly weapon to a teenager who could not even legally purchase alcohol, let alone own a semiautomatic 9-millimeter Sig Sauer handgun.

Leaving a message of “LOL, I’m not mad at you. You just have to learn not to get caught,” when told that their son had been discovered searching for ammunition on a school computer, the Crumbley parents left town that Friday and were arrested in Detroit. They plead not guilty for any crimes, even involuntary manslaughter.

This most recent shooting is not an isolated case, either. Just this year, there have been over 30 school shootings. 65 children — brothers, sisters and friends — have been murdered or injured in school shootings. Of the 27 suspects apprehended and suspected of these shootings, only 5 were over 18.

How many people are you friends with? According to the Survey Center on American Life, only 13 % of Americans have 10 or more friends. 65 is around six times this number. 65 people died. On a global scale, this seems insignificant — but 65 people is more than an entire VWS or WSC class. The loss people have suffered is truly horrific.

When did most people you know learn how to drive? At Webb alone, many boarders over 15 have yet to obtain their driver’s license or learner’s permit.

Ethan Crumbley, the shooter and perpetrator, was able to hold a weapon that could murder a person in the blink of an eye before he could legally drive a car.

There is something fundamentally wrong with a system that allows this moral inequity to occur. These preventable incidents call for stricter reforms of the entire system. We cannot let so much unnecessary death and sadness continue to happen so easily. We need stricter reforms for the entire system and laws that do not allow the mentally unstable or children, at the very least, to access these lethal weapons. There needs to be a legal age restriction to carry arms and even more than this, we need stricter requirements when purchasing firearms, because if they get into the hands of someone as irresponsible as Crumbley’s parents, it can cause irreversible harm.

We cannot let so much unnecessary death and sadness continue to happen so easily, especially when we can prevent it. Hana St. Juliana, whose infectious laugh was loved by everyone around her. Ty Myre, who loved playing football and his younger brother. Madisyn Baldwin, who loved to draw and write. And Justin Shilling, who loved music and his family, donating organs to those in need — these 4 students, these 4 people, first and foremost, could have been saved. Their dreams, aspirations, hopes, and lives could have continued past their tragic, but completely preventable, ends.