America has been in constant battle with gun laws since the second amendment was ratified. But in most recent years, school shootings have deemed themselves an immense threat to our country.
Saying "now, this has to change" in a heavy, attentive voice is an understatement. Gun laws should have changed six years ago after the Sandy Hook Shooting. They should have changed on April 20, 1999 when two underage students in Oklahoma shot and killed thirteen lives, then their own. Over the past few weeks, we as a nation have had the chance to put a stop to this travesty, or at least slow the numbers down, but the right bill hasn't been passed yet.
President Trump wants to arm teachers with handguns after the events at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14th of this year. He wanted to stop violence and guns with more violence and guns.
Students at The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School wanted to pass The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act which would ban semiautomatic assault rifles and high-capacity magazines--along with other precautions.
Who experienced one of the most deadly school shootings in America?
Who watched their classmates drop to the ground next to their own, running feet?
Who's future is America supposedly insuring and protecting?
As of now, only the student's bill on gun regulation has been shot down by congress.
As a student in a high school where handguns have been confiscated and threats have been made, there's only so much patience left over for legislation to protect us against the violence. We try not to be scared, but it's hard not to fear something so prominent and out of your control.
This morning I woke up to a solemn and fearful voice over my phone speaker, "I'm not going to school," one of my best friends said. "There was a gun threat." It took me a moment to process the words coming out of her mouth.
Our suburban, well equipped high school had a gun threat?
"A lot of people aren't going," she then whispered into the phone.
"I'm not going," I said quickly. I couldn't go. We sat in the next minute without words.
The following hour was silent as I tapped messages into my phone, telling friends I wasn't going to be at school and to my friends who were--be safe. I gave my address to my closest friends for a place to run to if things were to go wrong. I reassured friends from out of town I wasn't going to school and that I was safe. I told myself nothing's going to happen, everything's going to be fine.
"How are you feeling, sometimes you can predict stuff?" one of my friends texted me.
I felt numb, but texted back, "This one I'm not sure about." And everything was silent again.
I wasn't sure about the safety of my peers but also what our country had come to...I wasn't sure about any of it.
My school brought extra police officers into the building, it said so in the email my principal sent out two hours prior to the doors opening.
"If I could glue a police officer to my hip, then I'd go to school," I told a friend jokingly, only seconds later understanding what I truly meant by it.
Violence and guns are the two things making me feel safe right now. Two things I don't entirely believe in are the only way I'd step foot into a school being threatened of the same measures. But the only way that mindset could change for me, would be if the mindset of our country changed.
I wish I could be fearless and walk into school with my bag slung over my shoulder. I wish I could look fear in the eye and spit in its face. I wish I wasn't missing two quizzes today.
But I'd rather miss a math test than get shot--that's what my fear says.
This is a country where we have a lot of choice in the way we live and work. With the subsequent incline of fatal shootings and leeway in gun control, we need to choose together how we put an end to being afraid of going to your own school and afraid of what was designed to protect us.
We need to have the conversation and stand up for what we know is safe and right. We need to form together with the bright individuals at The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and be on their side--on the side of our future.
Maddie Roth. 3.6.18. 7:57 AM
Florida Gun Laws - Reuters
Rethinking School Shootings - CBS News
What You Can Do:
Nationwide Walkout on March 14th at 10 AM for seventeen minutes - here to learn more