For the majority of our lives, we’ve known fire drills and tornado drills, but on Dec. 14, 2012 the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting completely changed our practice and attitudes towards active shooter drills. Recently, a video was made by the Sandy Hook Promise organization about school shootings and gun violence in the United States.
This video begins by making the viewer believe it is a normal back to school commercial. But then, about halfway through, the video’s tone changes from happy kids in school to utter chaos. This ad is meant to show the ever-present danger our children are in. The truth is a shooter can come anywhere, at any time.
“School shootings are not inevitable. They are preventable. Millions of children are back to school. And we know our programs can protect them from school shootings, violence and other harmful acts. But we can only expand our lifesaving work if people like you join us and take action. Together, we can save more lives,” the Sandy Hook Promise website reads in regards to the video.
The goal after the Sandy Hook school shooting was to end gun violence and school shootings, but progressively we saw more school shootings. According to an article written by Times Magazine, since 2013 there had been 290 school shootings alone, but when this article was written in 2018, there had already been 17 school shootings in that year alone.
Major school shootings included in the Times statistic were the Sandy Hook Elementary School, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and Marshall County High School. Since the mass shooting of Sandy Hook, not only was the Sandy Hook Promise created, but also the Never Again Movement MSD was started by the victims of the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.
Similar to the Sandy Hook Promise, the Never Again Movement MSD also was created in regards to gun control advocacy; but this time students were the ones to fight for their right to see the change in their schools. These events have spurred off, not only these promises, but other movements such as March for Our Lives.
Since Sandy Hook, there has been a ripple effect of more school and mass shootings. Parents, students, and the concerned public have become louder demanding a change in gun control and anti-violence.
“...there have been more than 550 gun-related bills and joint resolutions introduced in Congress. Of the handful that have become law, none implemented new restrictions on gun ownership,” according to Fortune.
In an interview with Dr. Cassandra Crifasi, deputy director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research conducted by Fortune, "Gun violence doesn't have just one policy solution," she said. "There are different policies that are going to be needed to prevent these different forms of gun violence."
According to Crifasi, we have the bills to help limit gun violence. We just need our legislators to step up and cast a vote.
Other than bills for gun violence trying to be passed post-Sandy Hook, throughout schools, they have called for a change in security and for active shooter and lockdown drills so kids are aware of what to do.
Sandy Hook was a wake-up call for the nation in 2012 and now it has become a wake-up call once again in 2019 with the video created on gun-violence and school shootings. So the question is: what is the next step to change the future to avoid tragedies like the ones in Sandy Hook and Parkland?