Gun Violence leaves a devastating impact on our society. Every year millions of people around around the world are affected by gun violence. Each attack related to gun violence has sparked awareness and has been a signal; one after the other for a change in gun restrictions. Over the past year, the gun violence movement has been heavily talked about after the tragic shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School. On February 14, 2018, seventeen people were killed tragically from gun violence. Innocent people who’s lives have been taken too soon. Ever since that tragic day, students and parents have been pushing for change. There has been a constant need for change. We need a change in our world. No child or family should have to experience the pain of gun violence. The main question is how the shooters have the weapon in their possession.
Ever since since the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School, there have been five school shootings. Those schools were: Santa Fe High School, Savannah State University, Central Michigan University, Huffman High School and Great Mills High School. Four out of five of those shootings were committed by students. When students commit school shootings, people always consider, “How did the student obtain the weapon?” In the state of Florida, no person under the age of eighteen is able to buy a gun. No gun dealer can sell a gun to a minor. If someone sells a gun to a minor, the dealer can be arrested and charged with first degree misdemeanor and can face up to one year in jail. In many states, an eighteen year old can buy a semiautomatic weapon. Most school shooters are students. No teenager should be able to have access to a gun.
Another topic that falls under that question is that the gun is owned by the parents or another family member. Many parents have a legal permit to carry a gun or have one in their household. Parents keep a weapon in their house for protection in case of an emergency. Many teens have knowledge of the gun being in the house and know how to access it without their parent’s knowledge. Guns are the most dangerous thing that consumers can obtain in the American marketplace. Congress blocked a bill that required various background checks to prevent a lawbreaker from buying guns illegally. Over 97% percent of Americans want expanded background checks. The gun violence issue requires immediate attention to until every aspect of it is dealt with by law makers.
Even though there are many people who have legal permits to have a weapon, it does not keep them in the clear of violence. No child should have to experience gun violence anywhere, especially in their own home. More than 25% of children experience violence in their own home (CWLA). More than 5% experience a shooting (CWLA). Statistics found that “every day, eight children and teens are shot unintentionally by family fire”(BRADY). Another one found that “every sixteen hours, a woman is shot dead by her current or past partner” (BRADY). No one should have to experience gun violence in their school or even their own home.
Teens in our society today are affected tremendously by gun violence. After the mass shooting at Stonemason Douglas, teens were very hesitant to go to school the following days and weeks. Not only did the Parkland community mourned, but the whole country did as well. This was one of the top mass shootings ever in our country. The shooting brought about many student walkouts, memorial marches and and a new voice for justice. Hearing the gut wrenching stories of students and faculty during that tragic day is heart breaking and it calls for a change. Hearing the vigorous stories of how each student was killed is sickening. Hearing the parents pleas for safety and justice is tragic. No parent should have to see their child’s life being taken by gun violence. Meadow Pollack’s father and Jamie Guttenberg’s father went to higher officials in the country and fought for change. They fought so that no other parent would have to go through that tragedy and see their child be taken from them instantly.
It was a normal valentines day and Jamie was rushing out of the house and her father can not remember if he said “I love you” to Jamie. No one knew it her last day alive. No one knew the terror that was about to happen at the school except Nikolas Cruz. Each child that was killed fought for their life. Meadow Pollack fought for hers and Alaina Petty’s life. Meadow covered Alaina as gunfire shot throughout the hallway. Peter Wang held the door for others to help them escape but was shot in the process. The gruesome details are stuck in citizen’s minds. Students who survived the shooting are fighting for a change. They marched for not only their lives but for those who were lost. They are fighting for Congress to push more strict laws on gun violence so that no other child or parent should have to go through that.
Gun violence is not always considered mass shootings. It also includes suicide, violence in the community and domestic abuse. Our youth is tremendously affected by all of these types of violence. All of these various types of violence make teens question their safety. We need to prevent the trauma that comes as a result. We do not need to compare gun violence. It is not just one thing, it lies in many different categories. “Bullets do not discriminate and out response to violence cannot either” (March For Our Lives). On March 24, 2018, millions of people came together to fight for change in gun violence laws. Leaders of the protest were students and alumni from Stonemason Douglas High School. This protest showed that young people have the power to push for change. The youth will not be silenced. Students who are apart of the March for Our Lives campaign are asking mayors to support a youth voter registration enterprise. With this enterprise, mayors are making sure that students in their county are fully aware of all of the legal happenings. Mayors will make sure that the youth’s voice is heard during the election process and throughout the campaigns.
The parents have been affected tremendously by the uprising of the gun violence movement. They have received respect but have also had people who were against them. Manuel and Patricia Oliver have received hatred for their protest on gun violence. When they lost their son Joaquin in the shooting, they expected everyone to be sympathetic. They wanted to start their part in the movement. They held a “die-in” at their Publix and it created tension. People provoked them. They had people abuse and scream at them. No parent should have to bear this much after losing their own child in one of the nation’s most deadliest shootings. All of the parents wish for a change in gun control but agreed to not discuss it when they met together to support one another. Max Schachter lost his son Alex in the shooting and is not engrossed in the discussion on gun violence. He is working with higher officials to increase school safety. Meadow Pollack’s father, Andrew Pollack, believed that gun control measures failed during the shooting. He did an investigation into every aspect of his daughter’s murder. He looked into all of the failures of that day including the security monitors, the on campus police and the sheriff, and even to the mental health system. He looked into the mental health system based off of Nikolas Cruz’s gut wrenching videos before the shooting that got no attention to after February 14.
The fight for a greater change in school safety has affected every school in the country. Law makers pushed to have more security guards on campus, clear backpacks that should be used by all students, and that faculty and staff should be allowed to carry weapons on them in school. Many schools have pushed for the clear backpacks and have made their students use them as a precaution. There has been major concern as to having faculty carry guns in schools. During the uprising topic, people have asked, “What if someone had a firearm to shoot back at this awful human being?”, “Could some of those lives lost have been saved?” said Corey Silverstein.
Gun violence needs to be changed in the American society. No matter what, people will object ideas that come through the process. Congress needs to strengthen the laws and ensure better school safety. No child’s life should be taken too soon as a result of gun violence. Teens should not be afraid to go to school. Schools are supposed to be a safe place for kids; not an everyday terror wondering about the future of tomorrow or even further on. The youth now has power, and law officials need to see and hear the pleas. As someone who is a victim of gun violence and is constantly scared everyday about my safety, there needs to be a change.