As I prepare this piece for publication, there has been (yet another!) school shooting. This time, one person died (the shooter) following a brief standoff with a school resource officer. Two others were hospitalized with gun wounds, including the young woman who police say was targeted.
Just weeks ago, 17 people were gunned down at their school in Parkland, Florida. In fact, so far this year, there have been 18 gun-related incidents at schools across the country. Today’s youth have been dubbed “Generation Columbine,” in reference to the 1999 Colorado rampage.
I’ll Meet You Halfway
I don’t know of anyone who thinks school shootings are okay. So, if we’re all in agreement that the violence must stop, why does it continue? At the heart of the matter, of course, are guns. And everyone’s to blame for this shocking and unacceptable culture of non-action.
Liberals make knee-jerk calls for a complete and total ban on nearly all weapons, whilst conservatives plug their ears and staunchly defend the Second Amendment. Like petulant children, neither side will even attempt a compromise. And so the cycle continues…
No one wants a police state, but we simply can’t allow violence in schools to continue. At the least, metal detectors should be installed at every entrance. This is to say nothing about the need for a serious overhaul in how we approach mental health. The next school shooter is sending out warning signs and cries for help as you read this, but no one will pay attention until it’s too late.
Meanwhile, all students — not just those directly affected by school shootings — must commit to taking a stand against what has become an accepted aspect of daily life. Young adults must vote, get elected to public office, chair advisory boards, and take specific and meaningful action.
Sitting on the sidelines, staging walk-outs, thoughts, prayers, and simply shaking our heads in disgust no longer cut it.
by France Kahyline
Residential Life Magazine