On Jan. 22, it was a charter school parking lot in New Orleans, Louisiana, and a cafeteria in Italy, Texas. On Jan. 23, it was a high school in Benton, Kentucky. This marks three school shootings in one week and in total, 12 in just 2018 alone, with the most recent on Feb. 1 at a middle school in Los Angeles, California.
Any rational human feels absolutely disgusted when hearing the relentlessness of these acts. The question becomes how to channel our frustration and anger into a movement that can save lives. We must seek to alleviate the politicization of death and to enact proper laws.
In December 2012, the Sandy Hook school shooting was an absolute tragedy that impacted not only the families of those lost, but those with young children who trust the schools they send their children to are safe. While that was not the first significant school shooting, it shook the ground on how society perceives the safety of schools. Since that incident, school shootings have become too normative.
According to the Independent, there were 142 school shootings between Sandy Hook and October 2015. This averages to almost one school shooting per week. It is sickening to watch how frequent this occurs and how much we have accepted it as a society. Disgusted reactions come, but soon enough, we become desensitized to it and classify it as just another act of violence.
One of the cruelest things it seems one could do is to take the death of a child and politicize it. Using a lost life as a pawn in the chess board of corrupt government only leaves our society feeling in a constant state of checkmate. However, it is time for government to put their feelings and beliefs aside and make decisions.
Change is vital, whether it be through gun control, mandatory nationwide school safety precautions or new methods of security. In 28 days, we should not have checked off ten of those with the loss of life in the schoolhouse gates. To continuously divide the platform to push one’s political agenda when another child’s life could be on the line is gut wrenching. The important role of government is that when they see a problem, their role is to actively fix it. For almost six years now, since Sandy Hook, personal agenda seems to trump any significant progress towards curving this epidemic. Second amendment advocates fight for limited government intrusion while the other side fights for safety.
On a statewide basis, the most common form of passed legislation is school emergency planning, which mandates conducting emergency drills and creating emergency plans, according to Education Week. While this is a good start to help make sure schools feel aware of how to deal with a possible issue, it is not enough.
A child’s life is constantly on the line. Stalling stricter legislation and avoiding to address the bigger picture of the real problem is risking children’s lives on a daily basis. If the nation keeps failing to make a significant alteration, the nation repeatedly fails children nationwide. Drills and precautionary measures can prepare one for the future, but no one will ever know how to respond and react until one is in that situation.
A proper solution may entail strict guidelines for safety procedures, completed at an individual school level so it is personalized to each school. Additionally, random security checks or more stringent pat downs prevent students from bringing guns on campus, as well as making sure posing visitors are not potential criminals. Gun control may not be the most effective path, but the process of obtaining a gun is far too lenient, as it can take as quick as 15 minutes. More background checks and mandatory gun safety classes are necessary to ensure that weapons do not end up in the wrong hands.
The time is up for disagreement. Compromise proves the only avenue for change, before another life is gone too soon.