paperclips online magazine

Mass shootings have become prevalent in the US. It may be due to the lax gun control laws in place. It may also be due to the youth’s inability to tolerate something bad that happens to them. Regardless of the reasons why these mass shootings occur, it is undeniable that the frequent incidences have spurred the youth to raise their voice, calling out for a safer school environment as well as better gun control laws in America.

Incidences of School Shootings

Just in 2018 alone, there are more than 18 incidences of guns firing off inside the school premises. There’s an incidence where a man parked right outside an elementary school and called the police saying that he’s suicidal and armed. Minutes later, he took his own life. It can’t be technically considered as a “school shooting” simply because the school has been closed at that time and no one was hurt.

Another incidence is when a gun accidentally fired off in the school’s parking lot. It was already 8PM by that time and, again, no one was hurt.

You can actually count with your hand the number of incidences out of the 18 recorded ones that can be directly tagged as “school shooting”. However, there is no denying the fact that it is detrimental to a peaceful community if a gun fires off inside the premises of an academic institution. It’s traumatic. Just the sound of a gunshot threatens the feeling of safety that a school should provide.

Common Causes for School Shootings

The dangerous and unhealthy trend of school shootings won’t even take off if there is no root cause. Some people directly attribute the the shooter’s violence to their deteriorating mental health. The academe has a fault in here in that it is unable to properly separate those who need help due to mental health issues and those who don’t. Sometimes, the academic institution will just dismiss a student’s “silent cry” for help as a means to get attention or that the student is just an innate troublemaker. Instead of reaching out to these students, the academic institution chooses to kick these troubled students out, sometimes, in order to preserve the status quo or to avoid “contaminating” the general academic community.

It is also said that bullying is another reason that pushes troubled individuals into picking up a gun and causing mayhem. Bullying can come in many forms. When one party, who is in the majority, feels superior towards another, who is in the minority, and uses their superiority to make the other one feel unwanted or inferior, that is called bullying. When a group of students shame, insult, or ostracize a specific student, the latter won’t feel good about it. Those who have lower forbearance will oftentimes make the wrong decisions.

March for Our Lives Movement

Then, there’s the March for Our Lives movement. This movement that calls for the government to take a stand in the gun control issues plaguing the country, regardless if they are Republicans or Democrats. It is a collective call from the youth for the administration to prioritize their safety against gun violence and mass shootings while they are in school.

A march is scheduled in Washington, DC on March 26. Several communities around America will also participate in the March for Our Lives movement on that day.

Aside from participating in the movement, we should also be proactive in ensuring that a strict gun control law is implemented soon. We owe it to the kids who failed to walk out of the school on their own two feet after a shootout. We owe it to the teaching staff who used their body to protect the kids under their charge. No child and no teacher should feel unsafe in school. We need to make the difference.

Paperclips online magazine is one with the youth in calling out for a safe academic community – a community free from gun violence.