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The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

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The Hawkeye June 2024 Issue
1st Amend Award School

The actions of one does not speak for all

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©HAWKEYE image credit: Lucas Barquin

A mass shooting at a Nashville school on March 27, ended with six people, including three students all age 9, being killed. The shooter, 28-year-old Aiden Hale, was fatally shot by police during the attack. These events have sparked incessant and continued hatred for the transgender community.
Following the shooting, Hale, a transgender man, was misgendered, constantly referred to by his deadname by the media, and falsely labeled a “role model” for the trans community. Many anti-trans activists and politicians have used Hale to call the transgender movement a radical ideology. Since the shooting, the already skewed view of trans people has shifted to being outwardly hostile, quickly radicalizing many people, especially youth, into following transphobic ideology. The current political climate surrounding the community is already incredibly divided, but now, many are using Hale to say that all trans people are dangerous and something to be feared. This has sent many queer individuals into a state of panic and fear.
The shooting is a tragedy, and something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Yet many have used this opportunity to spread transphobic rhetoric in the name of protecting children. Lack of education and awareness towards transgender people has continually caused harm and actively damaged the community, yet misinformation and hate speech from baseless stories continues to be spread.
The majority of mass shootings are carried out by cisgender white men, but whenever somebody who doesn’t fit that bill is the shooter, that entire community is blamed. According to Statista.com, between 1982 and April 2023, 74 of 142 mass shootings were done by white shooters. And according to Laura Dugan, a professor of human security and sociology at Ohio State University, only about 0.11% out of 3,561 mass shootings since 2016 have been by non-cisgender shooters. You don’t see major news outlets calling all cis, or straight or white people terrorists for the thousands of mass shootings enacted by someone in that community, yet when it comes to a minority, suddenly that one person is the whole community. The Tennessee shooting should be significant because six people are dead from the hands of someone who had access to guns, not because that shooter was trans.
It’s frustrating that the main outrage about a school shooting was that the shooter was queer, rather than the fact that there have been 131 mass shootings in 2023 alone. Gun violence is a massive epidemic in the United States, causing over 48,830 gun-related deaths in 2021 alone. Over the past several years, queer, BIPOCs, and other minorities have been used as pawns in political chess games, contributing to thousands of suicides each year. According to the National Library of Medicine, about 82% of transgender people consider suicide, and about 40% have attempted taking their own life. Transgender people and BIPOC are not the problem. The problem is the systematic lobbying for guns in the U.S. In every single mass shooting, the only connection is that those people had access to guns when they shouldn’t have. Time and time again, minorities are blamed for the decisions of capitalist legislators who care more about the $80.73 billion that the Sporting Arms and Ammunition industry makes for the United States. Gun violence is something that affects all of us, and wrongly accusing a whole group of people for something that is a systematic problem is frankly appalling.
Third graders practicing active shooter drills, being told to do whatever they can to survive, is not okay. The fact that many people’s first thought after hearing about a mass shooting is “please don’t be a minority,” because if it were there would be massive repercussions, is not okay. Every time another transphobic headline pops up, it feels like the view of trans people continues to fall based on things that the community as a whole is not responsible for.
Aiden Hale does not speak for us. We need to stop grouping every minority group together when a tragedy happens. This will have lasting effects for many minority groups, and will most likely affect future generations of transgender individuals.

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About the Contributor
Lucas Barquin
Lucas Barquin, News Editor
Lucas Barquin joined HSM in 2022 because he enjoyed writing and wanted to join a group where he could continue writing with others. Lucas’ goal is to write about important topics, and to make every student feel seen and heard. In his free time Lucas enjoys drawing, listening to music and playing D&D. His post high school plans are to attend an art school for graphic design and illustration.
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