Standing Up to Prevent Gun Violence

Jade Tonjes, Writer

Over the years, people have become numb to the tragedies that occur everyday throughout the U.S. and the world. On February 14th, students from Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida lived one of these tragedies, and 17 of their peers died due to it.

Usually after school shootings people discuss safety and what can be done to prevent them in the future, but they still continue to happen. No matter your view on gun laws, children and other citizens in our country have lost their lives in these tragedies and something has to change. Douglas High had a lockdown protocol and safety measures but the teachers were placed in an impossible situation. Since then, a controversial topic of whether or not teachers should have guns has come to the surface. It’s an argument within all of the other safety issues being brought to the table from this incident.

There is one thing making this school shooting more apparent to the general public than others: Social Media. Students that were in the school during the shooting posted several pictures and videos on multiple social media platforms exposing what it’s like first hand to witness one of these tragedies. It has brought the graphic experience to the light and it’s making people throughout the nation angry.

People are vocalizing their views and demanding action for gun control. The students and teachers from Douglas High have emerged as relentless advocates for gun control legislation. This is inspiring other students and teachers throughout the country to protest for safety in their schools. The Network for Public Education is organizing a country-wide walk out to protest against gun violence. It is planned for April 20th, which is the anniversary of the shooting at Columbine High School. They urge teachers, families, students, administrators and every member of the community to engage in acts of protest in and around their community’s schools. Their goal is to let legislators know they must stand up to the gun lobby and enact meaningful reform to protect the students and teachers throughout the country.

It is unclear whether or not Shawnee Mission West will participate in this walk-out, but a group of students has brought the event to the attention of the administrators.