After last week's shooting my mind has been in a whirl. How could this happen? Why does this keep happening? What can I do? What can WE do? My senior year of high school I walked into my house after school and my dad was sitting on the couch with his eyes glued to the TV screen. He asked me if I heard what had happened, and when I looked at the screen I was in complete shock. It was news about the Sandy Hook shooting. Pictures of children and teachers that were killed that day flashed up on the screen. Picture after picture. Life after life. I broke down crying. How could someone take so many innocent lives? I couldn't wrap my head around it. Twenty children and six adults.
Since Sandy Hook happened, over 400 people have been shot in school shootings and approximately 138 have been killed. These numbers are unacceptable. As intolerable as those numbers are, it doesn't surprise me one bit. No wonder I have lost count of lives lost when there have been 239 school shootings since Sandy Hook happened in 2012.
I have become desensitized to shootings. Yes, I think it is sad and my heart breaks for the victims and their families every time, but do you know what crossed my mind when I heard about the Parkland school shooting? I thought to myself, "wow, another shooting" and went on with my day. I went on with my day. As the updates continued, the magnitude of what had happened started to hit me. Seventeen lives. Seventeen lives were taken by a senseless violent act at the hands of a hateful, mentally unstable teenager.
This makes me so mad. It should make you mad, too. This should not be happening here in America. I am so tired of just thoughts and prayers. Yes, I believe in prayer, but there is more that needs to be done. You can't pray for an A on a test you didn't study for and expect to get an A. We are praying that things like this won't happen anymore, but we aren't taking the action required to prevent these things from happening. These students that are now survivors are demanding action. In the wake of their mourning they are using their voices to beg for help.
We need to listen. We need solutions. We need to take action. We need to stop fighting over things like gun control and mental health or what is causing this to happen. It. Is. Happening. Something isn't right about our system if this is a reoccurring problem. It is evident that changes need to be made.
Do what you can. If you're religious, then pray, but don't stop there. If you live near Parkland, give blood. If you're a gun owner and know the ins and outs about every gun law, come up with a solution. If you know a lot about mental health, raise awareness. If you're a lawmaker, MAKE CHANGES. Talk to your representatives and work together to find a solution, because this is a problem. We can't expect to make no changes and to see changes. We are doing the same thing over, and over again, and what have we seen as a result? We have seen more innocent lives lost. It's insanity.
Who cares if it's a little harder to purchase a dangerous gun? Who cares that you need to be a little older? Who cares if mental health and background checks are taken more seriously? Who cares if we make changes with the intention to protect innocent lives? We all have the same goal, but we all have different approaches. We need to swallow our pride, listen to every side (no matter how much you disagree) and do something other than argue.
We are one of the most powerful nations in the world, and at this rate we are going to be our own demise. Listen, take action and make changes.