School shootings in America

How the events at our school shine a light on an American problem


Ariel Gill-Ehrenreich

Students at our school hide during an active shooter threat

On October 6, 2021, our school experienced a lockdown due to an anonymous call to the front office that there was a shooter in the building. The school acted quickly and students were either sheltered inside the building or moved to separate locations off school grounds and sent home. 

Luckily, no one was harmed and there was no evidence of a shooter in the building. However, the event was traumatic for some, especially for students stuck inside the building for nearly five hours. The event brings larger issues about gun control in the United States into the student body’s vision. Without the ever-present threat of guns and other weapons in schools, the lockdown would have been a lot less worrisome for those affected. 

It is difficult to think about the issue of gun violence in the U.S. without thinking about school shootings. Parkland, Sandy Hook, Columbine. Many Americans know those names. There were literally more mass shootings than there were days in 2019 and the extensive news coverage of these shootings has seared them into the American consciousness. Though, the notion of potential solutions still seems to be the least of many people’s worries.  

Across the political spectrum most agree that school shootings should be stopped, but the disagreement comes in how to prevent them. People have come to such a political standstill that when a shooting does happen, little gets done to prevent it from happening again. 

Americans are afraid of school shootings because there is no quick fix. Our school was afraid on that Wednesday morning. This bears the question that even if people had been injured at our school, who would have done anything about it? 

Parkland was a high school before it was a school shooting site. Students still attend Parkland high school after the shooting. After students died at Parkland, 50 new gun laws were put in place in the state of Florida, caused largely by the tireless efforts of young gun control activists, many of whom were in school during the shooting. However, none of that legislation helps the 49 other states. Whether that be increasing background checks, mental health resources, or making any kind of effort to reduce the number or accessibility of machine guns, there are no short-term fixes to this problem. The issue of gun violence in this country will take a long time to solve, but Democrats and Republicans are very fond of ignoring it and hoping it will go away. 

Unfortunately, it will not. As students from our school hid under their desks from a possible active shooter, they sat with the knowledge that our school would have been the next in a long line where kids died and politicians did absolutely nothing to prevent it from happening again. 

That is the real root of the problem; we have become so accustomed to aerial shots of children running out of buildings with their hands over their heads that we do not remember to tell politicians that this is something we want changed. That the students who attended those schools were there to learn, not run from bullets. That we are afraid. That we should not have to be afraid. Politicians are responsible for changing things so we are not.