My Own Thoughts
How is it even possible that someone isn’t allowed to purchase alcohol until they’re 21, but can buy an AR-15? And because of shootings being more common, when I checked my school email after the Parkland shooting one of the first things that popped up was an email from my university’s public safety department saying that now more than ever, shootings are happening more often and we need to know what to do in an active shooter situation.
My little brother who is in 9th grade stayed home from school one day because of someone posting on social media that a shooter was planning to kill everyone at his school. While this threat was being looked in to by the police, my little brother didn’t trust that this situation would be treated seriously, so he wanted to stay home from school when he usually is excited to go to school and see his friends.
Since 2013, there have been more than 300 school shootings in America. That’s an average of about one a week. From 1966 – 2012, America has had 90 mass shootings, which is more than any other country. The US makes up less than 5% of the world’s population, but holds 31% of global mass shooters. Let that sink in.
Something has to change. I’m tired of hearing “they’re in my thoughts and prayers,” “hang in there,” “it will get better,” because will it? Thoughts and prayers aren’t doing anything. Hanging in there feels like it isn’t doing anything.
There has to be gun control. I’ve heard about way too many shootings in my lifetime at movie theaters, churches, malls, universities, and schools where everyone should feel safe. Some of my family members who live in England where there are no guns, think that having active shooter drills in schools is the weirdest thing. I wish it really was weird and not necessary.
I wish people weren’t afraid to go to school or leave their homes. I’m tired of hearing “it’s not the guns it’s the people behind them.” Well if people couldn’t buy the guns, then we wouldn’t have to worry about who’s behind the gun. Shootings have gotten out of control and something needs to be done about it. Another innocent life shouldn’t be taken because of a gun being in the wrong hands. Guns need to be banned. I’m ready for there to be change.
On March 24, March For Our Lives, a gun violence protest took place in Raleigh, NC. This event started out specifically in Washington DC with the families and high schoolers that were victims of the Parkland shooting demanding that gun violence and shootings in schools have to stop.
Raleigh was one of the cities throughout the country that participated in this protest with families, students, state leaders, and citizens making their voices heard. From the marching to the speeches and music, there was a theme of desperation, empowerment, anger, and hope in each voice and sign.
During the normal class day on March 17, there was a National School Walkout that took place for 17 minutes to honor the 17 lives that were lost during the Parkland school shooting in Florida that some of William Peace University’s faculty and students took part in. That was just the start of raising more awareness about gun violence in schools and demanding action.
According to March For Our Lives, “March For Our Lives is created by, inspired by, and led by students across the country who will no longer risk their lives waiting for someone else to take action to stop the epidemic of mass school shootings that has become all too familiar. In the tragic wake of the seventeen lives brutally cut short in Florida, politicians are telling us that now is not the time to talk about guns. March For Our Lives believes the time is now”.
March For Our Lives is making gun violence stay in the spotlight until change happens. Ever since shootings such as the Virginia Tech shooting and the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, there have been demands of gun control in schools. After the high school shooting in FL., and most recently in Maryland, gun violence awareness is not being slowed down.
A 12-year-old who spoke at the rally voiced his concern and opinion about gun violence and the lack of freedom his family has to voice their opinions due to being undocumented citizens. “We don’t need walls, we need gun control.”
According to March For Our Lives, “School safety is not a political issue. There cannot be two sides to doing everything in our power to ensure the lives and futures of children who are at risk of dying when they should be learning, playing, and growing. The mission and focus of March For Our Lives is to demand that a comprehensive and effective bill be immediately brought before Congress to address these gun issues.”
“No special interest group, no political agenda is more critical than timely passage of legislation to effectively address the gun violence issues that are rampant in our country.”
“Every kid in this country now goes to school wondering if this day might be their last. We live in fear. It doesn’t have to be this way. Change is coming. And it starts now, inspired by and led by the kids who are our hope for the future. Their young voices will be heard.”
“I stand here before you as a father who kisses his kids goodbye and says I love you and listens to them as they tell me they love me too, and I hope and pray that they stay safe in that school,” said North Carolina Senator, Jay Chaudhuri.
Chaudhuri stated there are three important things that students want adults and lawmakers to know. First, they want adult and lawmakers to listen to their voice and know that they do not feel safe at school. Secondly, students want adults and lawmakers to support them. Adults and lawmakers need to support students because they have taken on an issue that requires a lot of work. And lastly, he stated that students want adults and lawmakers to act. If there is no action, then nothing will change.
“Last week we walked out, today we marched forward, tomorrow we must demand action,” concluded Chaudhuri.