Welcome to 2018, where history continues to repeat itself like a student trying to reach the word count.
Tragedies occur everywhere on any given day, but a significant amount of horrific events have recently taken place in the United States. On Valentine’s day, as a result of a heinous act of violence, 17 lives were lost in the matter of minutes.
Since the tragedy, survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have been extremely active in their quest to try to save the lives that have not yet been taken. The Twitter hashtag, #NeverAgain has been trending for weeks. One hundred students travelled to Tallahassee just days after the shooting to march on the state capitol and to demand reform.
News coverage of the marches has been extensive. Every media outlet has highlighted the movement and disputes about gun control have stirred on sites like Facebook and Twitter. Thousands of students around the state of Florida, and the country as a whole, have participated in walkouts to show their support. I opened the Snapchat map on February 21st and saw an overwhelming amount of local stories that read, “School walkout” or “Gun Control Rally.”
I am in awe of students like Emma Gonzalez, who are standing their ground and organizing these marches after such a traumatic experience. Instead of sitting back and letting things remain static, they have stood up and been a voice for so many. They’ve spread their message far and wide in hopes that laws will change. These kids have acted more grown up than the adults around them. They know that their future is not safe unless something is done to ensure that.
There have been 25 school shootings since the Columbine shooting in 1999. Lives have been taken in each one, yet nothing has been done to stop the number of casualties from growing.
After each shooting, there has been a cycle. First, people are in shock, then they send prayers and condolences, later on they get angry that nothing has been done about the violence, and then they forget about the whole thing until more lives are ended. Not this time. The students of Stoneman Douglas strive to break this cycle; a cycle that should have never even started to spin.
News of shots fired at Dalton High School in Georgia came out on February 28, the same day that students returned to Stoneman Douglas High School. Students at Dalton, terrified after hearing the gunshots, evacuated the school and were taken to safety while an investigation took place. Fortunately, no one was hurt and the shots ended up coming from a teacher who barricaded himself in his classroom and began to shoot. He locked his room, showing that he had no intention of harming others.
Twitter has made this news a huge controversy. Some users have said that the teacher could have done it purposely, to show that teachers should not be armed, something that President Trump has proposed as a solution for gun violence in schools. Others think that the teacher is suffering from some sort of mental illness, and shot things for inexplicable reasons.
Whichever way people look at the situation, I think they will have an easier time recognizing that teachers should not be armed. Giving teachers guns may lead to the creation of even more problems. I think that either scenario is plausible, because I find it interesting how the teacher decided to open fire on this day specifically, but coincidences can and do happen.
The case is still under investigation but until then, the country will be left asking the same question it’s been asking for years, what is the truth?