On February 14th, 2018, a day supposed to be filled with love, I received a text from my 16 year old sister that no one should ever have to read. “There's an intruder we have been on lockdown for an hour, I love you so much.” Never in my life have I been that scared. I cried, texted her until she was safe, and thankfully they got the intruder out without anyone getting harmed.
Two hours later, a few states away, another high school wasn’t so lucky. 17 people were killed in Florida on February 14th, 2018 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. 17 people walked into school for the last time. 17 people never got to hear that final bell to go home. 17 people did not get to hug their families or say goodbye to their friends. 17 people will never get another day to live their lives.
As children, who grew up being taught that school is a safe place, we now have a fear that consumes us. Why should we live our lives everyday filled with fear? There are shootings at schools, movie theaters, malls, churches, concerts, everywhere we go is a possible target. Everywhere we go we have the fear in the back of our heads that something bad is going to happen.
Change needs to happen. We are living in a continuous deathly cycle. First, there is a mass shooting. It’s on every social media outlet, every new channel, you can’t seem to escape the horrific news. Then, thoughts and prayers are given and people fight about the real issue at hand. Eventually, everyone forgets about it, no actions are taken, and before you know it there’s another mass shooting flooding every news station and social media site.
I am sick of waking up in fear every single day. I am sick of opening up Twitter and Facebook and seeing yet another story of a mass shooting. I am sick of no one taking action to fix the problems we have in this world. We can discuss and debate and fight about the subject all we want. But when it comes down to it, there needs to be some type of action taken to end this deadly cycle.
It has been three weeks since these innocent people’s lives were taken. It seems like every day since then, when I scroll through social media outlets, there have been more and more stories of schools getting threats and having violence-related issues. We cannot let the silence wash over this issue once again. If there is no action to fix this problem, then the cycle will continue and one day it could be your children that have to go to school feeling unsafe.
I am so thankful to live every single day because you really never know when it’s going to be your last. Thoughts and prayers go out to everyone in this terrible time of loss. But don't let that be it. Don't let any of our voices get silenced or looked past. There needs to be a change and it needs to happen soon.