Page A12 — literally the back of the main news section.
That’s where the story on America’s most recent school shooting appeared in the print edition of Wednesday’s Star Tribune. In case you missed it, one student was killed and eight were injured when two high school students opened fire at a Colorado charter school on Tuesday.
News editors make judgment calls on story placement based on many factors, including the uniqueness of the event and, in the case of shootings, on how many people were killed and/or injured. Page A12 is a reflection of how common the horror that unfolded in Colorado has become.
And, in full disclosure, the Star Tribune Editorial Board discussed a half dozen or so other topics Wednesday morning before the charter school shooting came up, almost as an afterthought. After all, an editorial published just last week lamented a shooting at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. Grade schools, high schools, universities. What more can be said?
But that’s the problem, isn’t it? The more routine something becomes, the easier it is to accept.
Last year, in the wake of the school shooting that left 17 people dead in Parkland, Fla., the Editorial Board and WCCO Radio asked five Minnesota high school students to participate in a discussion on school safety and gun law reform. The roundtable video and excerpts, “Lives at stake, voices raised,” were part of the board’s yearlong effort to call for more school safety funding and sensible gun laws in Minnesota.
The results from the State Capitol in 2018? A modest increase in school safety funding and zero progress on background checks and so-called red flag laws.
Those proposed reforms are back in play at the Legislature this session, and soon we’ll know whether our elected representatives were paying attention to last week’s shooting in North Carolina, this week’s bloodshed in Colorado, and the voices of Minnesota students who shouldn’t have to fear for their lives when they go to school.
Opinion editor’s note: This editorial is excerpted from Thursday’s edition of the daily Star Tribune Opinion e-mail newsletter. To sign up for the newsletter, which highlights the best of editorial and commentary and notes from editorial page editor Scott Gillespie, go to bit.ly/OpinionNewsletter.