Do you as a student feel safe at school? Do you as a parent feel safe sending your kids to school? These should not be questions we should have to ask ourselves. Schools should be one of the most secure places because they hold 50.7 million kids every day. Although they should be safe, there have been more than 130 shootings at schools in the past eighteen years. And it isn’t just happening in one area of the country, these incidents have occurred in 43 of our 50 states. Since the devastating shooting that occurred in Parkland, Florida on Wednesday, February 14th, many people have spoken their opinions. These opinions have been flooding outlets like Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat and has been all over the news. After this issue, there has been a focus on whether it is the fault of the gun or of the shooter. There has been a debate about a revision of our Second Amendment. There has been a discussion on gun rights and possessions. There has been talk about mental health. There have been agreements and there have been disagreements. But there has not been a discussion about what we are going to do next. There have not been set actions put into place. There is more debate than there are precautions made. Debating is like running on a treadmill. We are getting nowhere and all we achieve is exhaustion. We need to focus on how we are going to make this stop.

      As a 15-year-old sophomore in high school, I am very observant to the things happening in our world. I have concluded that most issues happening in our world often turn into arguments amongst people. Individuals trying to turn situations into “I am right and you are wrong.” Well as far as I am concerned, and as far as the statistics are concerned, we are all wrong. The Washington Post says that there have been 18 school shootings in the seven weeks of 2018. Change needs to be made. We as a community and a nation need take action to decrease the number of school shootings instead of taking sides. We must spread knowledge, teach self-defense and make tighter regulations for possession of guns.

      The first thing is spreading knowledge. This means informing students on the proper precautions to take in the event of a shooting. There is a video on Youtube called RUN. HIDE. FIGHT. A video with the purpose to inform people how to act and what to do in case of a shooting. This video needs to be shown to all grade levels in schools so that we know what do in the event. Schools teach students to stay out of sight of the door and stay quiet. But as we know from the past, these strategies have proved to be insufficient and do not work. Students, teachers, and administration would all benefit from this video and could be one of the things that prevent deaths in the event of a school shooting.

      Self-defense needs to be taught in school. Not only does this teach students how to fight back, but it is proven to develop a mental awareness which has become a factor of why shootings occur. The Odyssey Online says that “During the mental aspects of self-defense training, students will be taught assault avoidance strategies “by helping them to critically observe their physical surroundings, the behavior of others and teach them to listen to and trust their own intuition and instincts.” We need to prepare for the worst and learn how to properly defend ourselves instead of pursuing helplessness. Having 1-2 intruder drills a year is just a start, there is so much more that we can and need to do, like teaching students how to fight back.

      We also need to educate people that are buying guns, how to properly use them. Tighter regulations on the ability to possess a gun permit/license to carry need to be put in place. Since guns will always be around, we need to focus on how to make it harder for people to get ahold of them. As we speak, there could be an 18-year-old who just bought his permit to carry online and got ahold of his dads gun. This man did not have to prove any knowledge on how to properly use the gun, yet he is now legal to carry one. This is where our problem arises. We need to make it harder for people to access these weapons and educate the ones that already have them. If we make them more difficult to get ahold of and have a really long process, people could be less willing or wanting to have one.

      These school shootings have become an increasing problem in our society and it needs to stop. There are multiple steps we can take to decrease the number of school shootings that occur. We need to start in our community and schools to make a nation-wide change. We need to spread knowledge to the students, teach them self-defense and make it harder for people to possess guns. Even though it is a difficult issue to tackle, there is an end to every beginning, a finish to every start and most importantly, a solution to every problem. And it starts with us to make a change.

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