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We need fewer prayers, more gun control

After Parkland, Fla., high school shooting, lawmakers must provide concrete action not abstract thoughts

Gun+control+advocates+brandish+signs+lamenting+gun+violence+at+the+Prevent+Gun+Violence+Rally+on+Lawyer%27s+Mall+in+front+of+the+State+House+in+Annapolis%2C+Md.+on+March+1%2C+2013.+Almost+five+years+later%2C+the+fight+for+gun+control+is+no+less+urgent.+Photo+by+Jay+Baker.+Accessed+through+Flickr+Creative+Commons.+Reposted+with+permission+and+without+modification.
Gun control advocates brandish signs lamenting gun violence at the Prevent Gun Violence Rally on Lawyer's Mall in front of the State House in Annapolis, Md. on March 1, 2013. Almost five years later, the fight for gun control is no less urgent. Photo by Jay Baker. Accessed through Flickr Creative Commons. Reposted with permission and without modification.

Gun control advocates brandish signs lamenting gun violence at the Prevent Gun Violence Rally on Lawyer's Mall in front of the State House in Annapolis, Md. on March 1, 2013. Almost five years later, the fight for gun control is no less urgent. Photo by Jay Baker. Accessed through Flickr Creative Commons. Reposted with permission and without modification.

Gun control advocates brandish signs lamenting gun violence at the Prevent Gun Violence Rally on Lawyer's Mall in front of the State House in Annapolis, Md. on March 1, 2013. Almost five years later, the fight for gun control is no less urgent. Photo by Jay Baker. Accessed through Flickr Creative Commons. Reposted with permission and without modification.

Julie Robertson

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A student athlete with a swimming scholarship ahead for him at University of Indianapolis, a head football coach, a geography teacher, an athletic director: these are among the 17 lives that were taken at the horrific high school shooting in Parkland, Fla., on Wednesday. The alleged gunman, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, a former student at the school, opened fire on the multi-story school, covering every floor with gunfire, shooting anything and everything in sight with his AR-15. The stories of the victims hit home for me. These student victims on this campus are similar to students here, students who had promising futures and were highly involved in school programs and activities. It is particularly saddening because this has been the 18th school shooting in 2018, and all our elected officials seem to be offering are their “prayers and thoughts.”

I am saddened beyond belief for the students who watched their best friends, teachers and coaches murdered before their eyes. I am saddened for the parents of the students who now have to live after losing a child. What upsets me the most, however, is the fact that this type of event has become normal.

I receive a lot of news notifications from different outlets every day. At 2:11 p.m. I got the first notification from CNN saying that there was an active shooter in a Florida high school. The fact that I saw this, and the notice didn’t even really faze me is red flag No. 1. In my generation especially, we are pretty much used to seeing breaking news of this type every week, if not daily, and it has almost become commonplace.

That is unacceptable. I cannot believe that at this point in our society, kids (and their teachers) are losing their lives in school where we should be learning and feel safe. There are shootings at concerts, where people are just trying to have fun. There are shootings at office buildings, where people are trying to contribute to society or simply earn a living to feed their families. And when these shootings happen, as they all too frequently do, what do our elected officials, whose job it is to protect us, do? They’re tweeting out their thoughts and prayers. But you know what? Time is up for this response. We need change, we need background checks, we need gun control now more than ever.

When these shootings happen, as they all too frequently do, what do our elected officials, whose job it is to protect us, do? They’re tweeting out their thoughts and prayers. But you know what? Time is up for this response.”

I listened all about the shootings on NPR and read the statistics, but I went to Twitter to see what actual people were saying, debating over the hashtag #GunReformNow. The hashtag was trending No. 1 worldwide. I watched a horrific video posted by one of the students inside the school that showed bodies across the school hallways, a teacher with a pool of blood around her and SWAT officials sprinting up and down the hallways.

I watched it and tears brimmed in my eyes. Can you imagine walking down McCallum’s main hallway seeing bodies on the floor from an active shooter littering where you are usually laughing with your friends and buying football tickets? Your favorite teacher that carried you through math killed in front of your own eyes because a domestic terrorist got his hands on a gun and opened fire? After watching the video, seeing student interviews pleading for gun control, and seeing the parents of the victims putting out messages of grief, I am left with one simple question: what does it take for senators and congressmen to wake up and realize the twisted society that they are allowing to exist unchecked?

I refuse to hear the argument about our right to bear arms. The founding fathers implemented that right with the intention of rifles that shoot two to four bullets a minute. An AR-15, the same gun used in the Feb. 14 shooting shoots 45-60 rounds a minute. It is simply not credible to argue that the founding fathers even imagined such a weapon let alone intended to protect a citizen’s right to bear it. What does it take? Does it take a legislator’s own child to be killed in a shooting for their to be action in Congress? Heck, a shooter shot Republican congressmen at a softball practice back in June, and still Congress has not taken the action necessary to protect the American people from this weapon.

An AR-15, the same gun used in the Feb. 14 shooting shoots 45-60 rounds a minute. It is simply not credible to argue that the founding fathers even imagined such a weapon let alone intended to protect a citizen’s right to bear it. ”

The other argument often raised against gun control is that even if there were stricter background checks and more serious gun control regulation, potential terrorists would still acquire guns. Sure, some drugs are illegal and people still get their hands on them, but the number of drugs they get their hands on is much lower than it would be if the drugs were legal for purchase. Australia, which has much stricter gun control than exists in the United States,  hasn’t had a mass shooting since 1966. Just weeks after the fatal shooting, then-Prime Minister John Howard said that he will not have their country go down the American path of gun violence.

Many  statistics point to Australia as the leader in gun control because of their clean record of no mass shootings since the one 52 years ago. The country implemented strict gun control policies, banning rapid-fire guns to prevent mass shootings and then offered to buy back the prohibited firearms from citizens who owned them. The regulations were successful, and Australia has not had a fatal shooting since the 1966 date.

Do not tell me that you’re relying on me to fix global warming or immigration when I’m older if you can’t even keep me alive long enough to go through a school day without someone opening fire on a class because they easily obtained a gun. ”

It is offensive to me to hear people say that guns protect others, and that is their primary purpose. That kid was out for murder. I’m tired of the media calling Cruz “mentally disturbed.” Call him what he is, he is a domestic terrorist. If you want to label it mental disturbance then maybe put some government funding into healthcare for those with cognitive disabilities. But God forbid our citizen tax dollars going towards public health when it could be going towards paying for President Trump’s weekend trips to Florida. Our president needs to be a leader now more than ever. We need to hear what he plans to do to prevent this from ever happening again. We need something. But no, we are hearing silence from the right.

I have no respect for those that tell us we are supposed to be the next generation of leaders, and fix all of the problems that were created in the last generation when we can’t even go to school and safely learn. Do not tell me that you’re relying on me to fix global warming or immigration when I’m older if you can’t even keep me alive long enough to go through a school day without someone opening fire on a class because they easily obtained a gun. Protect us, implement gun regulation, let our voices be heard because we know this is not the last mass shooting. It’s only a matter of time until someone you know or you yourself is the one affected by this domestic terrorist attack, don’t let that be when you wake up and decide it’s time for change.

5 Comments

5 Responses to “We need fewer prayers, more gun control”

  1. Cole T. on February 21st, 2018 1:49 pm

    This topic hits very close to home as my cousin, 23 died from an unintentional drug overdose. It has an accidental one, so his life just went out like a light. And while, yes, I know, it’s not a school shooting, it’s unexpected loss all the same. Seeing that sadness and emptiness in my aunt and uncle’s eyes is something I’ll never forget. Never. These types of things simply shouldn’t happen. If that means NO guns (for the public), then no guns. If it means tighter gun laws, then we’ll take what we can get.

    [Reply]

  2. Wyeth Purkiss on February 21st, 2018 2:38 pm

    This article was strongly powerful to me and reminds me of the corruption that is thick within are government, and that when they think they are making America better that is pure fake news and it has been for awhile. They are not protecting the citizens, and allowing people to openly carry arms onto a SCHOOL CAMPUS. That is not right. This article strongly shapes and provides the major opinion of people that have gone through this traumatic and life changing event. Trump and a bunch other republicans who say there prayers have no idea or no perspective at all for a traumatic even like this, they need to see a world that isn’t theirs. We need change and this article like others constantly reminds me of that and is a very powerful reminder.

    [Reply]

  3. Jazzabelle Davishines on March 1st, 2018 2:19 pm

    Gun control is absolutely necessary in this country. Children have a right to feel safe on their school campuses, and it is the leaders of our nation’s job to ensure that that right is protected. People’s lives should be more valuable in the eyes of our country than guns.

    [Reply]

  4. Jasmine Barrera on March 8th, 2018 11:04 am

    I agree that the time for gun control is now. Recent events have unified us as students and friends. Julie gives this article the powerful voice it needs to get the point across to everyone who reads it.

    [Reply]

  5. Molly Odland on March 8th, 2018 11:13 am

    This is an incredibly important topic that needs to be brought up. We absolutely need Gun control in our society today. I thought your arguments were very strong and valid. Students shouldn’t have to be worried about being shot while going to school and trying to get an education. Great article.

    [Reply]

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We need fewer prayers, more gun control