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The Illusion Of Safety

There could never be a shooting here. Our green campus is nestled between rolling ridges, a charming historic town, and bucolic farm fields. The idea of danger on our hallowed campus seems laughable.

This same belief was shared by the residents of the town of Newtown, Connecticut. Their illusion of safety was shattered on December 16, 2012, when 20 schoolchildren and 6 teachers lost their lives. Since the Newtown massacre, there have been 16 mass shootings in the United States.

Although we are no longer discussing mass shootings on a daily basis, gun control remains one of the biggest threats to not only national security but also our security here at Deerfield.

Many would argue that introducing new security measures on campus would serve no purpose. Among Deerfield’s defining qualities is a sense of community, hospitality and tradition. On Wednesdays and Saturdays, droves of parents and visitors descend upon campus to watch games. Students at Deerfield leave their rooms unlocked, have unrestricted access to dorms and Academy buildings, and leave their belongings strewn about the Dining Hall lobby during meals.

The Deerfield community is very trusting, but we have to remember that our school is not a realistic replica of the real world. We cannot assume that everyone who comes through Deerfield will not take advantage of our open doors. Just as Newtown once was, Deerfield seems a safe haven.

Since we are lulled into this false sense of security, some might argue that we are in more danger than urban dwellers. We must recognize that the Deerfield Bubble does not give us immunity from real world violence.

We can and should do anything in our power to protect ourselves against the uncertain future; for unless Congress passes sweeping gun reform, or even a law requiring common-sense background checks, the lives of the entire Deerfield community are in jeopardy.

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