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The Fight For Our Lives

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The Fight For Our Lives

GUN CONTROL: It will always be the time to talk about gun reform, and students must continue to be at the forefront of change.

Elissa Choi | Features Editor
March 12, 2018

The wounds of school shootings never heal. At Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, another atrocity occured, this time by the bullets of an AR-15. The painful event claimed 17 lives, and among them are students and teachers.

According to the New York Times, there have been over 200 school shootings since Sandy Hook. Parents, administrators, and students have had enough and are standing up to fight for gun reform. Students who survived the Parkland shooting have organized walk-outs and marches in their schools and cities. They have talked to President Trump about gun reform. This time, they aren’t staying silent.

But what was proposed as part of a solution to shootings proved to be a “solution” that has caused an uproar among students, teachers and parents. On Feb. 22, President Trump proposed that teachers carry guns, and the ones who choose to do so will be paid a bonus in addition to their salary.

This is an extremely dangerous proposal, especially because the whole point of students and teachers standing up to gun reform is to prevent guns to be in the presence of students. However, President Trump believes that arming teachers is the answer by stating that an armed teacher “would have shot the hell outta” the Parkland shooter.

“President Trump believes that arming teachers is the answer by stating that an armed teacher ‘would have shot the hell outta’ the Parkland shooter.”

There are dangerous implications that come with his statement. Piggybacking on Trump’s statement, the solution to airline hijacking would be to arm all airline passengers. To arm teachers when they are in the presence of children is a situation that many parents and students are extremely wary of.

Increasing the presence of gun in schools is a bizarre proposal. The mere presence of a gun in action was what took the life of over 1,846 lives in mass shootings since Sandy Hook.

Congress should have passed legislation on gun reform far before the Parkland shooting. They should have had legislation present after Columbine. Instead, nothing was done after Sandy Hook. And since Sandy Hook, there have been over 1,067 school shootings.

The alarming rate of school shootings shows that there is an extremely flawed system in our country. Our laws allow 18 year olds to obtain an assault rifle. More background checks must be enforced, and before we step up as students, parents, administrators and legislators, we need to stand up as people with a common decency.

It’s time that we create public education campaigns on gun violence. It should have never come to a point where students are practicing drills to protect themselves during a shooting. But if there is a lack of legislation on the floor, we as students need to do more.

We need to push for safer security checks in schools, and we need to try our best to present viable solutions to school shootings. We need to pay more awareness to mental health. Our own classmates may be the ones who are at the breaking point of committing another atrocity.

But until the president and Congress can come up with purposeful legislation that is aimed at protecting students, teachers and civilians from senseless gun violence, it’s time that we as students continue to fight with our voice. We have created nationwide movements. We have put ourselves on television, and sat with Trump himself to discuss ways to prevent shootings.

Until then, we can’t stop fighting. Shootings are off the front page. We must continue to step up and continue to use our voice to fight for our lives.

Elissa Choi is currently the Feature Editor for The Mirror. She joined during her junior year and is currently in her second year with the publication.

Elissa focuses her articles on U.S. politics and how the Van Nuys High School student body is affected by the government’s decisions. She has been awarded Honorable Mentions by the NSPA for her diversity articles. She will be attending Barnard College in the fall of 2018 majoring in political science with a concentration in international relations and urban studies.


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The Fight For Our Lives