The United States has the highest rate of mass shootings in the entire world, which is why I don’t understand how we can stand here and accuse other countries of being terrorists. “The United States takes up 5% of the world’s population, but is responsible for 31% of all mass shootings.” This means a person is more likely to be killed at work, or at school then they are when they travel overseas. We shouldn’t be scared of other countries; we should be scared of ourselves.
A school shooting is an act of terror, yet, we still count how many lives that makes this time, and then hope for the best, without making any political change! Our education systems are being told to “prepare for the worst” because that is a possibility in our society now. How is telling a child’s school to anticipate an intruder a solution to these mass killings? Our education is supposed to prepare us intellectually for elementary school leading to middle school, then high school, and then to college- NOT, stay quiet kids, this is what we’ve been training for, a gun threat. If we can’t take care of our own people, and especially the children living in this country then what is the point? I don’t understand how the second amendment, someone’s right to bear arms, exceeds any student’s right to live. I understand that our Constitutional rights cannot be altered, but there must be a push for policy change when it comes to gun ownership. There needs to be, not entirely gun banishment, but strict gun control in every state. This country is in dire need of laws that require thorough background checks, more extensive gun-training classes, and stricter age limits because lives are repeatedly being stolen by the pull of one trigger.
Jugal K. Patel writes in the New York Times, “A gunman killed 20 first graders and six adults with an assault rifle at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Since then, there have been at least 239 school shootings nationwide.” After the shooting involving Sandy Hook Elementary School, 438 people have been shot, and 138 of them were killed. Now Parkinson, Florida shares in this devastating pattern, having the second deadliest shooting since 2012 after losing 17 lives from their community.
People may feel discouraged because so many reported shootings have occurred in the United States, and it seems lives only continue to be lost, but I do believe that change can happen if we demand it together. Judge Memorial will be participating in the March 14 school walk out, so I encourage you to make posters for that day or invite your own school to show support for this important cause too. This walkout is meant to support the lives lost in Florida especially, and anyone else affected by these tragedies. Students are rallying together, and advocating for one another to ensure our safety when we attend school. I believe that with persistence we will be the change this Nation needs, and everyone involved will make all the difference.
- Jen Christensen. October 5, 2017. https://www.cnn.com/2015/08/27/health/u-s-most-mass-shootings/index.html
- David Williams. February 21, 2018. https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/21/us/student-walkout-punishment-trnd/index.html
- Jugal K. Patel. February 15, 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/02/15/us/school-shootings-sandy-hook-parkland.html