American Literature (1201-1)
12 October 2018
Over the last few decades, many children have been in harm’s way in one of the locations that are intended to be the safest, school. Violence has continued to erupt in grammar schools, middle schools, high schools, the major target of society’s criminals, and even few colleges. However, the most memorable massacre shooting that occurred in a high school leaving some of the United States’ mentally disturbed individuals continuing to commend, but also left many families heartbroken is the Columbine Shooting, which took place at Columbine High School, located in Jefferson County, Colorado, on April 20, 1999. This is the one dreadful Tuesday morning that may never leave everyone’s questions answered. Two students of Columbine, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, decided to discard of their fortunate lifestyles and devastate the lives of families, teachers, fellow students, and other members of the community. Why would people want to cause an overbearing amount of trauma and grief to those who have done nothing wrong?
Since the year of 2000, there has been more than one-hundred and eighty-eight shootings at schools and universities. It is evident that the United States is suffering from a gun-violence epidemic, especially one that has been coming into school systems. On average, there are about 13,000 deaths in the United States each year as a result from gun violence. Many individuals within those 13,000 were children or young adults who did not get to live their life or were just beginning to. The problem with society is someone with homicidal, pre-meditated intents can illegally or legally acquire firearms, conceal firearms and bring them onto a school site without any detection, and use those assault weapons to wound or kill multiple people without feeling sympathy for those who are going to result in pain. In addition, another problem that continues to circulate from school to school is the lack of security. Yes, there can be limited access given to students and teachers, I repeat, there can be limited access given to students and teachers, but why not have a certified resource officer or local police officer search the premises of the school from time to time? In most cases, the perpetrator is someone from or related to the school in one way or another. Therefore, school officials should take other incidents into consideration and be stern when enforcing rules, along with safety procedures.
Under assumption, individuals believe that gun violence is the result of living in a less fortunate area, which happens to be completely false. Anyone, no matter how or where they were raised, can be triggered by their overbearing emotions or influenced by past gun violence incidents, such as Sandy Hook, Stoneman Douglas, or the Columbine Massacre. Many of the causes of gun-related massacres are due to mental illness, access to weapons, or the environment surrounding the perpetrator. A common cause of this worldwide issue happens to be mental stability of an individual. Any who have the urge to harm others, especially those who have done nothing, but go about their average day, is utterly deranged. Most people born with mental disabilities are not violent and even those that are, do not use guns usually. Only about four percent of violent acts committed against other individuals is caused by schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and other serious mental illnesses. Furthermore, suicide is a much more likely outcome of mental illness and firearms rather than mass shootings. Another popular cause is access to weapons—a major no-no. Approximately thirty-five percent of children under the age of eighteen within their homes, in the United States, have at least one firearm. Over the years, it becomes more and more common for teenagers or even adults to purchase illegal weapons without the going through the measurements first. It is almost like giving a knife to an infant—not a smart idea at all! The last cause that can be related to access of weapons is the environmental impact. In most cases, where a person comes from is not vital, but in some, it is. According to many, regardless of anyone’s setting, their schools are more likely to become violent as time passes. There are many things school officials cannot control like the family environment or outside community, but one thing they can take action with is gangs at schools. In the last decade, twenty-four percent of students aged twelve through eighteen admitted to being involved in a gang or being gang-affiliated. All of these causes can be controlled with the right precaution taken. It may be difficult, but never impossible.
In my opinion, there are many ways to avoid the next dreadful day a parent or child has to deal with the unfortunate news that a loved one has passed! Every prevention strategy starts within the foundation. For example, paying attention to those who might appear to have an obsession with firearms is a good start. Also, creating better relationships between students and teachers could be a great way to encourage positive behavior, especially for someone who appears troublesome. If a child lives in a home where a firearm is visible, but not locked somewhere safe, the parents need to keep it in a safe or place it in another location where it is not reachable for anyone who is underage. If an adult, above the age of eighteen, is deciding to purchase a weapon, follow through with the proper procedure and examine mental stability, along with how their environment was like growing up. As Americans, we lack the support of each other, but one thing we shall do is work against crime. You may never know who the next victim can be and not only do you live everyday like your last, but you take action into your own hands. There are always many ways to go about gun violence and how to attempt to avert small details that may lead up to big issues.
In conclusion, attempting to protect our future generations in such a cruel world is much needed. Being against violence can absolutely take you a long way in life. Raising children to be anti-gun violence, or violence as a whole, can most definitely change someone’s perspective on how we can all work together and make a difference. Therefore, fight for what you believe in. If this means being a positive figure in the eyes of the ones who need it most, then so be it! There is no such thing as not too much good and positivity. If you decide not to be a character whom takes on challenges, then it may rest of your conscience, but for others, the fight stay today, right now.