Ending gun violence starts on an individual basis

A moment from the play “Sheer Madness” at the Kennedy Center brought the issue of gun violence to me in a personal way.  “All right no one is leaving the building,” two acting detectives say as they point their fake guns at the audience. Just like that, the lights shut off. I began to think of my cousins, my parents, my family and how much I would miss them. I discovered how it feels like to face death. My stomach hit the ground and I grabbed my friends’ hand hoping that this wouldn’t be our last minute together.

Luckily the lights turned back on and the play continued. I tried to watch the rest of this murder mystery show we were attending but I couldn’t move past what had just happened. Children nationwide have felt this feeling with all of the gun violence that affects our youth and what we aren’t doing to stop it.

Thousands of children nationwide including myself have experienced the toll gun violence takes on an individual.

The Never Again Movement began last year on Feb. 14, 2018, after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

But since then, another school shooting happened in Santa Fe, Texas and that was just one of the many shootings. In the 12 months since Parkland, about 1,200 more children have died from gun violence, not to mention many more thousands of adults.

Parents and children have pleaded for new federal gun control laws but none have passed Congress.

As each school shooting occurs it makes children more afraid to go to school. We wonder if it will be the last time our mother drops us off for school or when the fire alarm goes off, if there is an actual fire or if there is someone waiting with a gun pointed at us.

Children shouldn’t be afraid to attend school. Yet here we are one year after the Parkland shooting and there have been countless school shooting after what was promised to be the last.

Children are dying at a place where they are supposed to gain more knowledge. Instead, their time is being taken by completing drills in the likely event that there is a school intruder. Students at CVHS completed the ALICE drill in February and many didn’t take it seriously. In the world we currently live in, gun violence needs to be taken seriously because it is now a likely event and it is life or death.

President Donald Trump recently declared a national emergency for building the southern border wall. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has suggested that he call a national emergency on gun violence and require universal background checks for gun sales.

Let’s keep in mind that the Constitution was written when not even all people were allowed to attend school and they had to bear arms in order to protect themselves against other individuals for their land. The founding fathers never imagined that there would be shootings in schools and many Americans probably thought they same thing two decades ago. The argument is no longer valid that you have a right to bear arms when guns hurt so many people. Many gun owners haven’t had a thorough background check that probably would have prevented many shootings.

Something needs to be done regarding gun violence. Children should not be afraid to go to school. It starts with you and me.

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