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The Numbers

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The Marjory Stoneham Douglas High School shooting in Florida has sparked many conversations, but many of them are not about the real issue at hand. They are actually distracting from it. One of the most disturbing examples of this is “the numbers” conversation. Instead of talking about the tragedy and heartbreak of 17 children and teachers being murdered at the hand of a nineteen-year-old with an automatic rifle, Facebook politicians are slamming Everytown for Gun Safety for using the statistic which states that there has been 18 total ‘school shootings’ this year as of February 15th. Cites and publications such as The Washington Post back up the Facebook politicians in articles with titles such as: “No, there haven’t been 18 school shootings in 2018. That number is flat wrong.” There should be no debate, there certainly have been 18 school shootings this year. A school shooting is, simply, an instance on school grounds in which a gun was fired. Whether or not anyone was injured or if the shooting was actually inside the school is irrelevant. Up to February 15th, there have been 6 shootings in which someone has been injured or killed in America if the numbers are that relevant.

A shooting at a school is a school shooting.

The saddest part about how controversial this figure has become is that there were even 18 instances to argue about at all. No one should ever be able to justify the deaths of 17 innocent people by downplaying the circumstances or by arguing inconsistencies in the numbers. If seventeen people can die and all some people can do is argue the politics, what kind of people are they? On top of this issue, others have been devaluing the scale of this shooting by stating that “it wasn’t as bad as the Vegas shooting last year.”  Here is what I have to say to that:

WHO CARES?

How many people have to die before the government decides to do something about the possession of automatic guns in America and implement serious background checks? Assault rifles only cost an average of $1500 and handguns $200 a pop. When they are so easily accessible and easy to obtain, why would someone with extremely violent tendencies not go out and buy an assault rifle to cause others harm? In 2018, 46% of Americans are unhappy with how loose our gun control is, and 39% are content with it as it is, according to the BBC. I don’t know how much gun control would help, but isn’t it at least worth a try to save innocent lives? With 150 lives lost in mass shootings throughout America in 2017 alone, and yet, according to some, we still don’t have a gun problem and “thoughts and prayers” are still enough. Why is that? Why are people still so blind to this issue?

Teenagers are having to take on the role of “adults” and stand up for what is right and to push for a change because our supposed role models and mentors don’t have the guts to do it themselves. Sadly, some adults still see it as abuse and criticize these teens who have been through unimaginable tragedy and call them anti-gun lobbiests. Any person who has been through something such as this is traumatized and has every right to be against the very weapons that killed their friends, teachers and even people that they have only seen in passing. Luckily, even though President Trump won’t directly state that the issue here is guns and maintains the mental health aspect is the issue, he is going against the will of one of his biggest supporters, the NRA, with his new proposal. This past week he announced that he would like to change the minimum age for people to be able to buy assault rifles from 18 to 21, just like handguns, and even though it isn’t a huge step, it helps a little and is more consistant with other gun policies. Although nothing could make up for the loss and pain that our nation is feeling right now, every little step in the right direction is a win.

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About the Writer
Bethany Diaz, Scene Editor/Junior Business Manager

Howdy ho neighborinos, Bethany Diaz here. I am a senior at Air Academy High School. I'm in marching band and I play the trumpet. I have 6 dogs, 1 cat,...

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The Numbers