February 14, 2018, a day that should have been focused on love, was changed to a day titled the third deadliest mass shooting in America.
My whole nineteen years, I've been taught how to act if a shooter entered my school.
In elementary school, I remember having a code yellow when a suspicious person walked across our campus.
My high school freshman year was put on lockdown when a neighboring school had a stabbing and the suspect was on the run.
My senior year of high school there was a threat of a shooting and although I didn't attend this school freshman year, within the first week it was shut down to bomb threats.
I have watched every state I have lived in have mass shootings. I lived in Connecticut at the time of Sandy Hook, although I didn't live anywhere close to Sandy Hook I remember missing school that day.
I woke up and went downstairs to my grandmother watching the news and crying. I lived in South Carolina when the Charleston church shootings happened and although I didn't move to Flordia my parents live 51 mins away from Parkland. The Las Vegas shooter was found to have plans of shooting at Lalapalooza which took place a block away from my college dorm. Luckily this shooting did not occur but the same can't be said for the lives lost at the route 91 harvest music festival.
Shootings have happened in my lifetime in movie theaters, concerts, every level of schooling, clubs, bike rallies, hotels, churches, convention centers, etc.
2018 has ten months left and while only two months in we've already had 18 shootings. When will mass shooting become rare occurrences instead of something that statistically happens once every week? When will it ever be the right time to talk about gun rights? When will we stop blaming mental illness as the sole reason and actually take action?
I was born in the year 1999 and since then there have been 71 mass shootings. Within 19 years how has this country allowed for 71 mass shootings to happen. Not only this but because of how often mass shootings happen the news doesn't cover every mass shooting or double-triple homicide. If not for yesterday, I wouldn't have known about the past 17 shootings that have happened this year.
My plea is that before our generation brings other beings into this world that mass shootings are halted. Unless there is action, Parkland will not be the last. We should not become numb to hearing about millions of people dying, we should not fear to leave our homes and go to school.
We should be able to see our favorite artists and worry about how much a t-shirt will cost before worrying if it'll be our last time on earth.
Without dragging politics into this I beg that there be a change, for the justice of all lives stopped because of these shootings.
It's time to stop blaming mental illness, these are acts of terrorism. We worry about letting others into our country when we should be worried about those who are causing the damage in our country. It's time for a change, I refuse to watch mass shootings continue to become more popular and accepted in this "great land."
Australia changed their gun laws after three mass shootings happened in the 80s - there are no mass shootings documented since. Guns are too easily accepted in this country as well as excuses for why these events occur. Parkland will only just become another shooting if there is no action, this needs to be the end.