Editorial: Thoughts and Prayers Are Not Enough

Since the March 2018 March For Our Lives, there have been more than two dozen school shootings. (Photo by Kimberly Dijkstra)

Another shooting in Colorado last week brings up emotions of anger and sadness at the thought that this has happened yet again, with no changes to the laws.

Students should be worrying about things like obtaining good grades, having a good reputation among their peers, and building a future for themselves. Instead, all over the country students are experiencing mass shooting drills, increased security and armed guards at their schools. The National Center for Victims of Crimes states that, “there were 11 mass shootings in 2017, more than in any other year in recorded history.” Keeping children safe should be America’s number one priority.

News reports state that the armed security guard at the STEM School Highlands Ranch near Denver was instrumental in taking the shooter into custody, saving countless lives from being lost. But just last year, at the Parkland high school in Florida, where a gunman killed 17 people the “armed security officer on campus never went inside the high school or tried to engage the gunman during the attack,” an article from NBC News states. Clearly, hiring armed security is not a foolproof way to stop these massacres.

Last week, legislation in Florida was passed, which now allows educators to possess firearms in the classroom. However, that could prove to be the wrong move. Teachers already have one of the most important jobs, to fill a students mind with knowledge and teach them to the best of their abilities. Police officers are often open to criticism for their decision to use deadly force, do we really want that burden placed upon our teachers too?

The United States is a nation made up of a conglomerate of nationalities, opinions and ideas. We have built a nation to be proud of, but yet, the government chooses to ignore a problem that keeps repeating itself. People are dying at the hands of something that could be more effectively enforced with proper and more thorough background checks and legislation. The first step in protecting our people, especially our children, should be to place some stronger regulations on gun ownership. If you are a responsible gun owner, you should have no problem going through the necessary steps to obtain a gun.

It’s not about eliminating guns, it’s about finding a way to keep them out of the hands of people who intend to do serious harm.

—Caroline Ryan ­­

Agree? Disagree? We’d love to hear from you! Send a letter to the editor to kdijkstra@antonmediagroup.com.


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