We live in a world where a trend is following what other people do. Boom.
Some kids see how others have taken their anger out and think i can do that to. Boom.
When nobody will listen. Boom.
Only open their mouths. Boom.
They only have one thing left to do. boom
And with them, they’re taking you. (Boom).
I’m going to be honest, I’ve struggled through most of the English classes I’ve ever taken, so let’s just say writing is not my thing. But now more than ever I feel the absolute need share something I have written. No my writing hasn’t gotten better, but the urgency has. In 2018, 113 people died due to shooting incidents according to CNN. You may think great, another liberal high schooler just trying to save the world. Well, let me tell you something. I don’t care if you have heard this message one time or 1000 times, i don’t care if you lean left or right politically, i don’t care if you think this topic is overdone. The problem is still out there. These shootings are still happening. So no, I won’t stop. This needs to be talked about, people need to take action, otherwise things will never change. That is why today, with the help of CNN, The Washington Post, and Psychology Today, I will be informing you on why the violence needs to end and what we can do to end it.
This past Valentine’s Day our school was filled with everybody getting flowers (except me) and to many people spreading the love in the hallway. But I, personally, was filled with dread, because It was also the one-year anniversary of the Parkland shooting that took 17 peoples lives. Knowing this, I went up to one of my teachers and asked him what he had thought about it. He told me he had completely forgot about the shooting, when I asked him how he could forget he told me he forgot because it didn’t affect him. You might think the same way. Why should something that happened somewhere else affect me? It wasn’t at my school… I didn’t know anyone. You’re right, It’s hard to sympathize when you weren’t a part of it. The number 17 is just another statistic. But to the students who attended high school in Parkland, Florida on that day, that was 17 friends, classmates, etc.
My question is, what is it going to take for things like this to start affecting the people who aren’t already affected? Will it take it happening to you? Will it take somebody walking into our school with a loaded gun? Then will you say things need to change.
In just 5 minutes you can answer 5 emails, return a phone call, or write in your journal. In 6 minutes you could take a shower, read a chapter of a book or listen to 2 songs on the radio. And in 6:20 seconds you could bring an assault rifle into school and kill 17 people and injure 17 more. 6:20 seconds is the exact amount of time this tragedy took at Parkland. 6 minutes is how long we have for passing time at school. It’s simply perplexing that on any other day in the time that it takes me to get from French to math class 17 people could die. As a student that scares me and that should scare you too.
So how do we fix this? How do we take the fear out of kids, out of us? Some say arming the teachers, and while that at first sounds like a good idea, let’s really think about it. What happens when you have a unregulated student who attempts to over power a teacher and succeeds. They wouldn’t have to attempt to sneak anything in it would just be right there and on the ready. Yes, we could assume that other teachers would come to there back up but that still leaves time for lost of life. What if we could stop this from happening at the stem of it. Studies done by NPR have shown that last year over 20 alleged shootings were able to be stopped before they even began. They didn’t even get to the point of bringing weapons into school. People were able to notice the signs and help by reporting it. Through reporting it they were able to bring safety to the school and find support for the shooter themselves.
There are many signs to look out for for when something like this may happen. If you see a peer struggling with any of the following do not be afraid to go to a teacher or guidance counselor. According to Psychology Today, the biggest ones to look out for are: Violent actions, obsession with weapons, high dysfunction in family, high dysfunction in friends, and impulsivity. These signs can take place in many different ways. For example violent actions could be on any range from getting into fights at school or self harm behavior. Obsessions with weapons most often shows over social media, in what a person likes, shares, and comments on. High dysfunction in family can be shown through defiance and or family being harsh to the person in question. Dysfunction in friends may mean they have no friends at all or the ones they do have they tend to isolate themselves from. Impulsivity is often the most dangerous one. Impulsivity can lead to making quick decisions and not thinking about the consequence.
I ask you for the safety of us and our school please report if you see any of these signs. Even if there is just a comment or joke made do not be afraid to report it, even if it’s coming from your best friend. It will always be better to be safe than sorry. After all no amount of thoughts and prayers will ever be able to bring back what’s no longer there.
Before Columbine there where only 26 mass shootings ever documented in the U.S. Since then, there has been over 86 school shootings that have resulted in death That does not include other mass shootings like Pulse Nightclub or the Las Vegas shooting. Overall, according to the Washington Post there has been 162 mass shootings, 309 guns, 166 shooters and 1,153 people killed, all taking place after Columbine. Also according to the washington post the violence has only gotten worse throughout 2018 and 2019. It shows that this is a trend that is only increasing more.
Considering what I have said I ask you to join me on March 13th at 9:30 am at the Minnesota State Capitol to rally against gun violence, and if i still haven’t convinced you, let this be your reason for attending.
Cassie Bernall, 17
Steven Curnow, 14
Kelly fleming, 16
Daniel Mauser, 15
Charlotte Bacon, 6
Noah Pozner, 6
Jack Pinto, 6
Grace McDonnell, 7
Scott Beigel, 35
Nicholas Dworet, 17
Aaron Feis, 37
Jamie Guttenberg, 14
Peter wang, 15
Those are just 14 of the victims from the Columbine, Sandy Hook and Parkland shootings. The kids who never got to grow up and the teachers who never got to grow old. Don’t let the next person on this list be you.