My pre-college academic experience can be summed up pretty accurately with a few core memories: the unprecedented joy of the Scholastic book fair, the frenetic anxiety that accompanied standardized testing, the excitement of planning a school dance, and, well, course, the horrors of containment exercises.
I think it’s a fair argument that one of these things isn’t quite like the others.
But, unsurprisingly for a young American, I was forced to deal with the impact of gun violence in our society.
This hard truth became more of a reality in my seventh year. Our school closed because there was a reasonable suspicion that a gunman was on and around our college campus.
I remember I was 12 looking at the silent faces of my friends in the dark under our desks. Nothing like this had ever happened to us, and I couldn’t decide whether to say goodbye to them or not.
I decided to keep quiet so as not to talk about a tragedy.
Fortunately, our lockdown turned out to be a false alarm – but for so many children, teenagers and adults in this country, those situations took much, much darker turns.
The epidemic of mass shootings in the United States has wreaked havoc on our society. Since 1966, an estimated 1,290 people have been killed in mass shootings, and thousands more (including family members and survivors) have suffered the extreme physical, mental and emotional consequences of these horrific events. .
It is a devastating truth that the young people of this country have to get used to these disturbing statistics and many are receiving extensive training to protect themselves at all times from a possible firefight.
I find it disgusting that in 2021 there is still a need to teach elementary school students “run, hide, fight” tactics in anticipation of potential active shooter situations.
Despite the number of casualties and traumatic experiences, there appears to have been little or no political response to the epidemic of gun violence; the rate of public mass shootings in the United States is still far higher than in other similarly developed countries.
I know at this point it feels like beating a dead horse, but we need change – desperately and soon.
In my mind, the logical solution is to tighten restrictions on the purchase and possession of weapons. But, for reasons I don’t understand, many people oppose this supposedly radical proposal.
A perfect example is the March 22 King Soopers grocery store shooting in Boulder, CO. The shooter, Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, was widely described by family members as having mental health issues and was convicted of third-degree assault in 2018.
Yet he was legally allowed to purchase the Ruger AR556 pistol which he would use to carry out the attack six days later.
Ten people were killed.
Frankly, that doesn’t fit. We are well past the need for a more effective background check system for gun purchases.
Guns “falling into the wrong hands” shouldn’t be so common in this country, and I feel like increasing gun control shouldn’t be such a hot or sensitive topic when it’s about saving lives and preventing absolute devastation. .
It seems like we repeat ourselves over and over again with no positive results or changes. Even still, I think more people expressing concern and dissatisfaction with current gun control measures will be the main source of change on this front.
Emily Davison is a 19-year-old anthropologist and second-year English student from Denham Springs.