Fighting the Violence Epidemic | Teen Ink

Fighting the Violence Epidemic

June 18, 2018
By johnstonsophia BRONZE, Ridgway, Pennsylvania
johnstonsophia BRONZE, Ridgway, Pennsylvania
4 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The best thing you could do is MASTER the chaos in you. You are not thrown into the fire, YOU ARE THE FIRE." -Mama Indigo

Imagine waking up on a seemingly normal Tuesday morning, having your morning lifeline, a cup of coffee before rushing off to wake your son for school. He groans, rolling out of bed, throwing on the first items out of the pile of clothes on his floor. A few minutes later, he walks by, leaving for school. You try to kiss him on the cheek and tell him you love him, which is only met by him wiping it off and leaving to catch the bus. You carry on with your morning, running around the house, getting ready for work, until your routine is interrupted by a phone call. It’s one of the neighborhood mothers, calling to tell you that an active shooter has been reported to the school that your son just left for two hours before. In complete shock, you drive to his school, which is surrounded by anxious parents, ambulances, and police. The police burst through the doors, followed by terrified students with their hands on the backs of their heads. You watch, waiting for your son to come through those doors, but that moment never comes. Students and teachers are being rolled out on stretchers, names are being called. Devastated people gather around, awaiting the names of their loved ones to be called. A man pushing a stretcher with the sheets pulled over the victim’s face calls out your son’s name. In a single second, a stranger calling out two words, your entire world is shattered. Everything you’ve known for so long is ripped out from under your feet. For some parents, this is the devastating reality that they have been faced with. Violence is around every corner of this harsh, cruel place. It is most definitely a hard pill to swallow; knowing one day your child may leave for school and never make it back home. What’s most terrifying is what our country is doing to protect us from it, which is next to nothing. Preparing a bunch of teenagers is not prevention or protection. We must solve this by understanding how this happens and why this happens. The ‘how’ can be answered easily, a lack of gun control. Someone who is at risk of committing an act of violence should not have access to a gun, no matter what their situation may be. There is no logical reason as to of why an average person has an assault rifle or anything of the like in their possession. If this violence crisis was solved, there wouldn’t even be a need to own one in the case of ‘self-defense’, as most of the time violent crimes are passed by as self-defense. The ‘why’, while just as if not more important is much more complicated than the ‘how’. An act of such hatred cannot be confined to a single reason. Some choose to brush it off as mental illness, which whether it is the case or not, these individuals have more than likely been mistreated or angered causing them to feel the need to commit such acts of hatred. We as the people should feel shame for allowing these issues to get to this point. It isn’t just in school; it’s everywhere, at work, the grocery store, concerts, gas stations. It is sickening how numb our country has become to these acts of violence. We must encourage gun control and safety, as well as showing kindness to everyone that we meet. Smiling at the woman in the grocery store will get you much farther than sitting back and complaining about our government. Kindness is our greatest strength.

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This article has 2 comments.

amccarthy said...
on May. 10 2022 at 8:36 pm
amccarthy, Climax Springs, Missouri
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
By blaming gun violence, this piece expends a whole lot of effort to regurgitate the same false assumptions that most media make regarding the violence epidemic. Due to the explicitly enumerated right to bear arms, America is home to an estimated 300-500 million firearms in private hands. With a many as half a billion firearms owned by Americans, it's astonishing that the annual number of firearm homicides floats between 10,000 and 15,000. Calling for more "gun control" legislation is lazy at best and dangerous at worst. Most of the firearm homicides in this country are committed by folks who broke several current laws to obtain a firearm. In Chicago, most homicides are committed by previously convicted felons who are already federally prohibited from possessing a firearm. If they've decided to break one federal law, how would additional legislation be an effective deterrent? Even the author's own hypothetical situation creates a monster who ignored the laws to carry out a massacre. Since 1990, it has been a federal crime for an unauthorized individual to posses a gun on school grounds, not to mention it's likely a violation of both state and local laws depending on the region. Adding more laws to aimed to prevent such violence will not stop anyone intent on committing it. The author also decides to take the pretentious approach by determining what other people need. It's not for the author to decide who does or doesn't need an "assault rifle," which gets it's misleading moniker based primarily on cosmetics. My family owns several AR15 style rifles, as they are very effective tools for hog hunting. Logically, it stands to reason that effective tools increase efficiency. Even if the violence epidemic ends there is still plenty of reason for the right to bear arms to stay. The right to self defense is a basic human right, and has been recognized as such by SCOTUS. Explicitly protecting the right of the people to bear arms was the result of a fledgling nation, who just won a years long bloody war for independence, protection from future tyranny. By ensuring that the government shall not infringe upon the people's right to bear arms America's founding fathers guaranteed and even encouraged a path to resist a government which could become too oppressive. Like Jefferson, I too "prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery." If the right of Americans to bear arms costs 15,000 lives each year, it's a small price to pay considering the alternative is a country full of sheep with no protection from the wolves in government. I have a better idea to prevent gun violence, it's simple and doesn't require more legislation which only disarms and restricts law abiding citizens. Enforce the laws currently on the books. No longer should felony possession of a firearm jail someone for a day. It should send them to prison for years. If we actually start punishing gun crimes we will have far fewer funerals for innocent folks.

jjohn99 said...
on Aug. 7 2018 at 2:50 pm
jjohn99, Kersey, Pennsylvania
0 articles 0 photos 2 comments
awesome article