gun violence response from a teenager

The Florida Shooting: Response from a Teenager

1:08 PMHeather

I have three teenaged children, who attend school everyday. My 16-year-old son has some thoughts to share on the school shooting in Florida last week. I've given him this forum to allow his voice -- his response -- to be heard. Thank you for listening.

Image courtesy of Unsplash

Hello family and friends, 

Before you begin reading this post please keep in mind the fact that I began writing it last Friday, and have rewritten it several times since. 

This last week, seventeen people were murdered in a high school in Florida. Some of them students, some of them staff. The high school in which this incident occurred is very similar to my own in size, and the students slain were similar to me in age. I write this post out of fear, sadness, anger, but most of all to display how me, and many other students across our country feel. 

Mass shootings are nothing new, however in the last two years it seems as though these shootings have become more common, and more lethal. In December of 2012 a terrorist killed 27 people, 20 of them six and seven year olds inside Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut. In June of 2016, a terrorist killed 49 inside Pulse Nightclub in Orlando. In October of last year, a terrorist killed 58 people who were attending a music festival in Las Vegas. Just 1 month later a terrorist killed 26 inside the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs Texas. Last Wednesday, another terrorist entered his former high school, and gunned down 17 students and staff in Parkland, Florida. 

If these do not alarm you, you are either not paying attention, or you have become numb to the senseless and brutal massacres our nation as a whole has become accustomed to. Like I said earlier, I write this post first and foremost as a student. This medium being the most broad and direct connection I have to the adults in my life. 

Now I cannot speak for every student in the United States, obviously, and not even for every student in my school. However I can speak for myself, and most of the students with whom I have discussed this topic. We are scared. Scared that tomorrow another terrorist could enter our own school and commit another attack. 

This country has held its grasp to the Second Amendment for far too long. Too long for me to remain silent while the adults in my life vote for the people who will govern our nation. This violence has to stop, and the only direct and fast way to do that is to roll back regulations on assault rifles and other semi-automatic guns that citizens of our country as young as 18 can legally purchase, some without a license. 

No matter how much you love to hunt, or how much you feel the need to defend your family, you do not need an AR-15 or any other assault rifle to do so. I write this post as a plea, a beg even, to do the right thing. Vote for politicians that will put my generation’s safety first, before another mass shooting occurs. If you have problems with the words conveyed in this post, feel free to message me. 

Thank you for your time.

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