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The Lance

The Lance

The Lance

Gun Violence Hits Home

Gun violence in America has become one of the leading causes of death for teens and young adults.
Ben Vaskov ’24 and his father at the Kansas City Chief’s parade before the shooting started.

On February 14th, one million people gathered in Kansas City to celebrate the Chief’s Super Bowl win. What was supposed to be a fun day for families and fans ended in tragedy and violence. When two gunmen opened fire, two dozen people ranging from ages eight to forty-seven years old were injured, and one was left dead.  Lyndell Mays and Dominic Miller were both charged with second-degree murder and other counts in the shooting, the 49th mass shooting of the year as of February 14th. 

Gun violence not only hit Kansas City, but it hit home for the Bishop Gorman community. Senior student and Lance writer Ben Vaskov ’24 was in attendance at the parade celebrating with his father. When shots rang out close to Vaskov, he thought someone had set off fireworks. It was only when he saw a woman bleeding on the ground that he realized it was time to take cover. Vaskov later discovered that the woman would go on to die of her wounds. 

“Before it started, it was a very fun day. Then the fun turned into darkness. I kind of had to run for my life… it was a very scary thing to not know where the person who’s trying to harm you is,” Vaskov explained. 

Speaking on the victims he saw firsthand, he said having a brush with death  is a perception-changing experience. He shared that he will never feel the same way about the words “mass shooting.” For Vaskov, the concept of gun violence was a foreign one that belonged on TV and in the news, not in real life. It takes real experience to understand fully what’s at stake when shootings start. 

“You never think you will be in [a mass shooting] until you are in one, which is kind of weird to think… I have a more profound sense of appreciation for life itself because it could end at any moment.” 

When asked what can be done to prevent shootings like this from happening again, Vaskov explained that it’s a difficult situation to navigate. He was conscious of getting “too political”, as are most people these days when discussing the topic. Truth is, when people (including children) are dying everyday to gun violence, it stops being a political issue and starts being a public safety issue. Action needs to be taken to stop gun violence, but unfortunately people never start caring until it’s too late.

We are very glad Vaskov and his family were able to come out unharmed, and our feelings are with the victims’ families. 

Watch Firsthand Footage From the Shooting Here, by Ben Vaskov

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About the Contributors
Chandler Shulman '24
Chandler Shulman '24, Entertainment Editor The Lance
My name is Chandler Shulman and I am a senior at Bishop Gorman High School. I am actively involved in the theater program, and I also am a filmmaker, having participated in film festivals across the country. I've played football here at BG since I was a freshman. I enjoy writing and watching movies.

Lillian Martin '25
Hi! My name is Lily Martin of the class of 2025.  I am currently a sports writer for the Lance.  I play soccer for Heat FC.  I participate in the business club, Shine A Light, and am a BGHS Student Ambassador.  I like to read and listen to music.  I also like to watch sports games with my dad on the weekends.  

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