“17 Kids Were Shot and Killed Today at a High School… What’s for Dinner, Mom?”
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“17 Kids Were Shot and Killed Today at a High School… What’s for Dinner, Mom?”

The Normalcy of Mass Shootings is Tragic and Unacceptable.

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“17 Kids Were Shot and Killed Today at a High School… What’s for Dinner, Mom?”
TIME Magazine / Youtube

If you’ve ever read one of my articles you know that I love to write about upbeat, entertaining, and humorous topics. I sat down at my laptop numerous times to try and write about something that would make people laugh or smile. However, the only thing I felt motivated to write about was something that would make people think.

I have a recurring nightmare that I am in my middle school and a shooter enters and I can never find my two triplet brothers. I wake up sweating, paralyzed in fear, and incomparably grateful that this was merely a figment of my nightmares and was not a reality that I had to live through. However, today it is impossible to think that myself, or anyone is safe from the unpredictable atrocities of gun violence.

I vividly remember being in 7th grade and walking home from school on a brisk December afternoon. I was excited for winter break, for Christmas, for family, for presents when I discovered that twenty children under the age of seven had been brutally murdered and would never be able to be excited for anything again. I stopped in my tracks and just stood there baffled. I wanted to throw up, to yell, to stop the violence, but the only thing I was able to do was helplessly stand there filled with confusion.

After the massacre in Sandy Hook, Connecticut I was certain that regulations would finally be put in place to ensure that weapons and guns capable of mass murder would be restricted. These types of weapons should only be used to protect our officers and soldiers in the military during times of war. It is absolutely absurd that someone could go to Walmart superstore to buy toilet paper, eggs, orange juice, and an AK-47 Semi-Automatic Rifle that can fire more than 180 rounds per minute. But, if the death of twenty first graders didn’t have the powers to put laws in motion, I genuinely don’t know what will.

There has been an average of a mass shooting every 60 hours in 2018 alone. That is such a tragic statistic and I don’t understand how it could not persuade our leaders to enact change. Guns do not need to be taken away all together. People have a right to protect their homes and their property. People also enjoy recreational hunting in designated areas, however if you were to use an AK-47 to hunt, your game would be blown to smithereens. These weapons are simply unnecessary.

The worst part about this situation is that I was born into a world where school shootings already existed. The Columbine Shooting in 1999 shocked our nation and leaders ensured our residents that action would be taken to prevent another destruction of young life from ever occurring again. That was 20 years ago and the rate by which mass shootings occur has only continued to grow at an alarming and exponential rate.

Of course the subject of this article is fueled by the horrific school shooting in Parkland, Florida that was enacted by domestic terrorist Nikolas Cruz. And what a more horrible day for this violence to occur than on Valentine’s Day. This day dedicated to love will forever be tarnished for the families who witnessed such a lack of love and perseverance of evil and violence. The worst part about this shooter is that he is the same age as me. To think that someone that is my age could have the potential to destroy so much in such little time is hauntingly disturbing. However, I find minor forms of solace when remembering that most people my age are incredibly kind, smart, and caring people that would do anything they could to stop something like this from happening.

If I hear one more time that “The shooter was on the FBI’s radar”, “The shooter showed signs of detachment, awkwardness, aggression, and loneliness”, “The shooter posted multiple photos on their social media pages that showed them posing with large guns and other weapons; they also photographed dead animals that were mutilated”, and worst of all “We could have seen this one coming.” If you could have seen this coming it is your duty as a citizen to SPEAK UP AND TAKE ACTION. There is never anything done to prevent these sorts of tragedies, there are just prayers and condolences to the families who grieve. Not to discredit the comfort that prayers and kind thoughts can provide to people that are experiencing such a loss; but we don’t just need God, we need laws.

Another new and terrifying aspect of mass shootings in recent days is how everyone has a smartphone that has the capability to record. To see students my age posting Snapchat stories of someone murdering their fellow classmates and shooting up their classrooms is incredibly disturbing. School shootings can now be broadcasted from the inside for the entire world to see, and I hope that witnessing the horrors that are occuring can promote change and action.

I am aware that school shootings and mass murders have become a topic of normalcy in America; I do not find this to be acceptable, but I recognize it as a fact. After realizing that over a dozen teenagers were brutally gunned down in a public school yesterday, I went to my colleges dining hall and ate lunch, then went to my next class. We continue on with our lives as if nothing is wrong. I’m not saying that we should live in fear, I am saying that we can not be silent about the problem that has persisted for decades. It is time to demand action and positive change to protect future children who are simply trying to get an education. It is not time to stand by, it is time to STAND UP.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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