*WARNING: The article and videos below contain images and language associated with gun violence, particularly against school children. If you are sensitive to these topics, please proceed cautiously.
Gun violence in the United States has reached a new level in number, brutality, and political divide. A particularly disturbing phenomenon is that of mass shootings in schools; a place that used to be a haven for children but is now stripping them of their innocence.
The following videos and short films highlight different perspectives of the school shooting epidemic, including the ugly statistics and the point of view of someone who almost committed one of these horrible acts. Whether you believe armed teachers, more thorough background checks, or banning guns altogether are the solution, we can all agree that something needs to be done. If you don't, perhaps the following perspectives will make you rethink your stance.
1. 19 Years Of School Shootings
Since the Columbine Massacre in 1999, mass school shootings have become more and more common. The Washington Post brings statistics to life through the words of survivors.
1999 was the year I was born; my peers and I have never known a world without mass school shootings. I hope that someday we will, but that will never happen without legislative action.
2. Mourning Bell
Mourning Bell is a short film (7:41) by Danny Bittman. It tells the story of Cliff, a young man who survived a school shooting and suffers from PTSD like many survivors do. Unless you are a survivor, you will never fully understand struggles such as Cliff's, but Bittman does a great job of giving us a glimpse.
3. What Students Really Think About School Shootings
This Vox video opens with a few interviews with /clips of survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in 2018. They then show pre-submitted clips of students who were asked about their feelings on school shootings, what they think the proper solutions are, etc. I like how Vox included different perspectives and ideas from these kids and gave them a voice in a matter that unfortunately affects their young lives greatly.
4. 12 Seconds Of Gunfire
A virtual reality-esque short film produced by the Washington Post, based on an article by John Woodrow Cox, tells the story of the Townville Elementary School shooting of 2016. The film is told from the perspective of Ava Olson, who was a first grader at the time and lost her friend in the tragedy. Ava is now best known for writing a letter to President Trump, about gun control.
5. Gun Violence Warning signs
A PSA produced by Sandy Hook Promise, an organization founded after the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting of 2012, this video follows an innocent romance between two presumed high school students. The video ends with a fellow student coming into school with and using a gun against his classmates and highlights the warning signs of the shooter that the viewer might have missed while focusing on the other students.
6. Emma Gonzalez “We Call BS” speech
Emma Gonzalez, a survivor of the Parkland, Florida school shooting, made a speech at an anti-gun rally last year that quickly went viral. The speech was blunt, raw, and sprinkled with statistics about guns and politics in the United States and around the world. Gonzalez became the primary face of the March for Our Lives, a student-led movement that led gun-legislation demonstrations around the country.
7. I Was Almost A School Shooter
In his TED Talk, Aaron Stark tells the story of his atrocious childhood which led him to self-destruct and brought him close to committing mass murder at his high school. Though his story is one of pain, he is now a functioning member of society, a husband, and a father all due to the kindness of one friend. His solution to school shootings is kindness and urges listeners to "give love to the people we think deserve it the least".