So far in 2018, there have been 18 different school shootings and over hundreds of threats against schools all around the country. With over 58 deaths and injuries in a span of just six weeks, school shootings and gun control has once again become a major topic in the news.
With so many of the recent threats and shootings occurring at high schools, it makes me more and more aware that this scenario could happen at any school on any day, including Leesville.
I know that there are police officers at Leesville to keep us safe, and teachers go through multiple procedures and drills to learn how to properly keep us safe in an event like a school shooting, but there is always that shred of doubt in my head that something like Parkland will happen at Leesville.
For myself, I think the main problem is that school shootings aren’t ever actually talked about at school. Yes, the news talks about school shootings and covers the topic heavily after it happens, but once the initial “excitement” is over, it’s just another shooting in the history books.
It’s really important to talk about school shootings because it’s something very real that could happen at our own school or any schools in the county or state. Since the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012, over 438 people have been shot in over 200 school shootings, and 138 people have died.
One of the biggest debates in solving this problem of gun violence in school is whether or not to arm teachers. I understand where political and governing powers are coming from in trying to arm teachers, but in my opinion this wouldn’t make schools any safer. Teachers are supposed to educate children, they shouldn’t have to keep a gun and think about whether or not to kill someone.
I wouldn’t feel any safer knowing that teachers have guns hidden away somewhere, and I know that I am not the only one with this opinion. The first step to feeling safer at school is voicing our opinions to governing powers in the state.
On Wednesday, March 14 the nation celebrated National Walkout Day to advocate for new gun laws. Here at Leesville, we utilized the walkout as a way to honor the 17 lives lost in the Parkland shooting by having the walkout last 17 minutes.
At first thought, going to the walkout made me nervous. A topic as big as gun violence was not something to be taken lightly, and I was concerned that myself and other students would be punished for skipping and walking out of class.
When I realized that this was not the case, I felt a lot more confident about the walkout. I wanted to walk out, not for political reasons, but to show my support for stricter gun laws and in turn safer schools. Many students who disagreed with the walkout claimed that it wouldn’t change anything or make a difference, but I disagree.
Just complaining about the problems and hiding behind tweets and DMs does absolutely nothing. Yes, the walkout was only around 500 people, but schools all around the country on March 14 walked out. The topic of gun laws is still very large and apparent and is something that will not be forgotten soon.
As more and more school shootings happen, more and more students, teachers, and parents are becoming further concerned with students’ safety. People all around the country want change and will continue to fight for change until something beneficial happens.
Later, I realized that many people that disagreed with the walkout viewed it as a political platform for “liberals” to “expand their agenda” which is very untrue. The walkout was used as remembrance of Parkland and to use as a starting point for the future walkouts, like on April 20.
A major problem with the issue of gun violence is both sides think they are absolutely right and there is no way the opposing side is wrong. People can be misguided and not understand the true meaning of what they are fighting for which makes it hard for both sides to understand where the other side is coming from.
This ignorance is what leads to unnecessary arguments on various forms of social media and in person. Whether someone agrees with one side of the debate over the other, we should all take time to hear each other out.
Students like myself should not have to go to school and wonder whether or not someone will show up with a gun and parents shouldn’t have to worry that their kids won’t come home from school that day.