How many times have you asked yourself will my kid be safe? What is happening to the world we live in? When will it end? The answer is – way too many times. In 2021 alone, there have been at least 114 incidents of gunfire on school grounds, resulting in 23 deaths and 60 injuries — the latest occuring at Oxford High School in Oxford, Michigan just three days ago. Lockdown drills have become the inevitable, a given that is associated with school. Kids as little as four years old are cramped underneath desks told to keep quiet and stay still in case a “bad guy” comes into the building. This nightmare should not be the reality. Kids should not have to deal with the anxiety and fear of being killed while simply going to learn. We constantly ask ourselves why does this happen? Why are these innocent kids’ lives at risk? How can we stop this? Parents in particular are so quick to blame government officials for not taking action when in reality, they are the also ones staying silent.
One simple move of the hand. That is all it takes to affect a life. But will that move of the hand be a finger on a trigger or will it be a signature on a piece of legislation that limits access to firearms. Parents, we, your children can’t vote for such legislation or vote for elected officials who will enact such legislation, but you can. So, I guess the question is this: why don’t you?
After a school shooting occurs, it is common for parents to spend hours debating the original source of why this happens, for a person to blame. Maybe it’s the parents of the shooter for not keeping the gun hidden away well enough or the person who originally sold the gun. Maybe it is the school for not having strict enough security. Or maybe it is the government for not having strict enough gun laws. No matter who we place the blame on, it does not change the fact that throughout the years no change has been made in our society, with each year the amount of shootings increasing. But instead of placing blame, and trying to change what already has happened, why don’t we work to change the future? To not just accept school shootings as the inevitable. Placing the blame does nothing if we do not remove them as a candidate for blame in the future. Parents across the United States should come together to demand change and a safer country for their children to grow up and be educated in, not just complain at home about something they say is out of their reach, because it is not. Parents need to stop just accepting shootings and waiting around for the government to do something about them. If we continue to just wait around for reforms to be made not only will more children’s lives be taken, but the innocence of their peers will be too. If your child’s safety is a priority, act like it. If you care about your children you will understand the urgency and essentialness of taking action. Get out of your house and protest. Write to the government about what changes you want to see. Whatever you choose to do does not matter, as long as your efforts reflect the changes you want to see.
According to the Washington Post, School shootings more than doubled this September compared with the same month in previous years. Upon reading the comments on this same article, I was in dismay with what I read, yet I couldn’t agree more. One user commented, “Yeah, we pay a lot of lip service to love our children, but clearly, our priorities are making sure every angry, white man can walk around packing heat. (with or without a criminal record, with or without training, with or without a permit, with or without mental illness). Their “freedom” they keep whining about is at the expense of children everywhere. If nothing changes after Sandy Hook, we are doomed. I look at my grandchildren and cry for their future. Could we at least have gun laws as sensible as the ones they have in Russia? Look it up.” Another said, “In most developed countries a school shooting would be news. Here, we track the number of shootings for each month, and compare them year on year, as they happen every month every year. And nothing changes. How is this acceptable?” Lastly, and my personal favorite comment discussed the life and death difference between schooling in America and Australia. “Ex-US citizen here, moved to Australia 17 years ago to avoid raising my daughter in a gun-loving, violent, religious country. Australia has never in its history experienced a school shooting. NEVER! My daughter will likely never know an Australian who owns a gun, although many of her f-wit relatives (my family) in the US own them. She has never passed through a metal detector to enter a non-airport-associated building in Australia. Doesn’t understand the concept of lockdown drills. Has never heard gunfire. Of course, guns are very hard to obtain here, but then we also don’t need them because we don’t live in fear. In 40+ years living in the US, my grandmother was shot to death, I lost 2 dear friends to random gunfire and two other friends topped themselves with guns. My daughter will not experience this level of loss and grief in Australia. I have vowed to never enter the US again and do not regret this decision for even one second.” Not only do these comments show the disastrous and broken state the United States is, but how vital it is that action is taken and no more school shootings occur with not as much of a blink of an eye from parents. When will we stop ignoring this reality and watching the number of shootings go up? Life is not a news channel you can just switch off. This will keep happening and happening unless you, the parents, demand change. Your children’s lives are in your hands. They did not ask to be born in America, this abominable, tragedy-filled country. Open your eyes and see that this is what your children live with day in and day out and realize that this should not be what our country has come to.
So, dear parents, we need you to fight for us and to help protect us from murderers of beating hearts and the bliss of ignorance. Speak up for us, please. Do not just frown at the news of a school shooting, and cross your fingers for a change. It could be your kid next. You could be the one wishing it had all played out differently. Now is your chance before it is too late. Seize the moment, and help make school safe again.
The Children of America