Never in my life did I think I would grow up seeing so many mass shootings occur in just the span of 20 years. I wasn't alive for Columbine, but I remember when the Aurora shooting happened, when Sandy Hook hit every news station when a country music festival turned into extreme chaos, the Valentine's Day shooting, Virginia Tech and most recently, New Zealand losing 50 people to an act of violence. I've seen all the articles, begging and pleading for a change, but, how many more do we need to post in order for a message to get around that something needs to happen? It seems like there isn't going to be a solution for a while, probably not even in my lifetime.

The threat of school shootings was never a thing we had to worry about when I was in elementary and middle school; We would do fire drills, tornado drills, but never do I remember doing an evacuation drill or a school shooting drill. It wasn't something that teachers really rose concern about during class, as it wasn't as huge of a threat as it is today. It wasn't until after Sandy Hook where the education system started cracking down on 'safety in our schools' in the event that an active shooter gets on campus or someone threatens to possibly attack the school. I remember being in high school and being on so many holds for little things where students couldn't be in the hallways, but then there were a couple of times where we did hard lockdown drills and were told to take shelter, out of viewing of a window/door so we wouldn't put ourselves in harms way or any of our classmates. How many more drills do the students have to do in order for something to be done?

As a freshman in college, my campus is pretty big; A party city, over a hundred thousand people, I thought I was pretty safe where I'm living. I started to change my views once Fall of 2018 rolled around. My campus was faced with an attempted armed robbery and unfortunately failed to secure the campus and get the suspects, so they could still be on the run, we don't know. Our security failed to protect us, keep us off the streets, tell us to seek protection, they didn't do any of that. From that day on, I've felt pretty on edge when it comes to walking on campus by myself, even in broad daylight.

I never imagined that I would need to be cautious about my life in school, or just in general. I didn't think that I would be faced with the situation of possibly have an active shooter on campus, it just wasn't something that was highly thought about. Usually, it was just brushed over, and people would have little conversations about school shootings, but at the same time, it seemed to me that people were more concerned about the possible threat of another terrorist attack than the possibility of their classroom being invaded by an active shooter. Nowadays, I walk with caution, usually with my car key in between my figures, key side facing out in the event someone tries to attack me, I'm making sure I'm aware of all my surroundings and if I'm in a place I'm not really familiar with, I'm either with a friend, or have my phone in close vicinity to where I can quickly call someone for help.

One day after the horrific shooting at the two mosques in New Zealand, tragically taking the lives of 50 people, NZ banned all semi-automatic weapons. Yeah, you read that correctly. One. Whole. Day. It took them one day to realize that, 'hey, ordinary people shouldn't have access to these deadly weapons, let's change that'. How long has it taken America? Too long. There have been too many incidents of gun-related casualties and events that you would think that by now, our country would've done something in regards to our gun laws.


New Zealand Bans Nearly All Military-Style Guns After Mosque Attacks | TODAY www.youtube.com


Now, I know some of you are going to try and come at me with the whole "we have our 2nd amendment right for a reason!." Yes, you have the right to bear arms, you have the right to have a conceal/carry license on you and carry a gun in a holster on your belt, but do you really need to own a semi-automatic rifle? Unless you're using shotguns and whatnot for hunting, why do you feel it's necessary to own an AR-15? There's no purpose for people like you and me. And definitely no reason for someone who is mentally ill to be able to have access to any sort of weapon, especially guns. It's scary to me that my future kids possibly will have to fear for their lives going to school every day because our country fails to protect us when it comes to gun-related incidents. That's what our national emergency should be focused on, not obtaining money to build some stupid wall that's going to be torn down one way or another right when it's built.

Our biggest problem today is gun violence; the fact that I as a college student have to walk with their key in their hand between their fingers ready to jab someone with it if I feel threatened. The fact that kids in elementary school are having to practice lockdown drills because of what happened with Sandy Hook. The fact that our schools had to amp up their security systems and you must enter through certain doors and you have to be let in by someone and state your reasoning for being there, otherwise you're not allowed in. Even me, being a high school graduate, if I want to visit my high school to go say hi to a teacher? I have to email that teacher and let them know that I'm coming on this date at this time and check in with the desk clerk and obtain my guest pass so I have permission to be in the school.

Never in a million years did I think that my school would be canceled because some idiot teenagers were threatening to blow up the two high schools, and the police department didn't want us being in the school in the event that there actually was a bomb that could blow at any moment. Thank god there wasn't, but just the simple fact that we couldn't even go on school grounds for two days because the police department had to find these imbeciles, blows my mind.

It may seem like I'm asking for too much, but I really am not. I'm asking for some change to be discussed and not just brushed aside to 'come back to at another time'. I'm asking for some change to be discussed and put in place so kids don't have to fear that when they get on the bus in the morning, that it'll be the last time they tell their mommies or daddies that they love them. I'm asking for some change that'll limit the amount of gun violence that happens in our country. I'm asking for some change that will actually benefit this country, more than just hinder it. Why is that so hard to ask for? How many articles about people begging for change and asking for something to be done does there have to be in order for the message to be heard?