On February 14, 2018, a mass shooting occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 individuals were killed while 17 more badly injured. As of now, this was one of the world’s deadliest school massacres. Besides mourning and grieving for the friends and families that lost their loved ones, the students all took a stand and said that enough was enough and that gun control needed to be regulated. They took the streets, internet, anywhere they could go to create a movement that could take a turn on gun violence and America’s history.
Which leads to March 14th. This Wednesday at 10 AM, the #nationalschoolwalkout day occurred as students all over the country walked out of their classes for 17 minutes to honor those 17 individuals that were killed in Parkland. The action wasn’t just taken through schools – major TV networks paused their television shows to show solitary for the victims of the shooting, including MTV, Nickelodeon, and more. However, as this day was memorable for most, I can see both sides of this issue, as gun violence is an important topic to raise awareness for.
The main debates that took place along gun control were through Twitter. Lots of users used the hashtag of #nationalschoolwalkout to express their feelings on gun control and how they feel like they made a difference showing their support. Here are some examples of students that took a stance for the Parkland shooting victims:
Photo Courtesy of Twitter user @CodyMillerELA
Photo Courtesy of Twitter user @dre_nasa_
As people who participated in the walkout are incredibly brave and compassionate about the deadly event and what can stop gun violence for all, there were some people who had slightly opposite opinions about the national walkout. One user compared and gun violence to abortion, on how “liberals” support the killing of unborn babies while regulating guns because they care about children’s lives and talks about how hypocritical it is.
Photo Courtesy of Twitter user @cheechablunt
Photo Courtesy of Twitter user @_Makada_
Now I feel like it is time to share my feelings toward the Florida massacre. My goal in this article is to not persuade you on what side to be on, or who’s right and who’s wrong, my intention is to bring the issue to the real problem and how we can stop violence as a whole, not just guns.
My whole issue with these kinds of events aren’t “political”, they come from looking at the big picture. When I first heard about what happened in Parkland, I wasn’t surprised. It feels as if school shootings are becoming a regular thing – like they’re becoming the new “normal”. That should not have to be the case. Gun control, yet, isn’t the answer. Unfortunately, it’s all about the mental state of the person. For example, if I were to be given a gun, I wouldn’t have the heart and audacity to shoot up my school. And when you think about it from the opposite perspective – the individuals who are depressed, angry, etc. who have the mindset of committing such a deadly act can get access to more weapons besides guns. There are knives, bombs, drugs, etc that can be just as fatal as guns. Think about the Boston bombing back in 2013. That was also one of the deadliest massacres, and there were no guns involved. My claim for gun control is to end violence, not regulate gun control.
Besides walking out, there was also another movement that caught my eye called #walkupnotwalkout. Walking up meant making a real difference in another’s life, instead of walking out and protesting about wanting to regulate guns. For example, walking up to someone you may not be friends with and starting a conversation with them, because you never know if you’re changing their mind about a choice they were about to make.
I was also talking with another person who had the same stance as me, as we talked about how talking to new people or doing something kind for someone different makes a huge difference itself. Protesting is not going to help the situation – it’s the choices you as an individual towards another human being to make this world a better place.
Autocorrect: *cliche, *may feel
We live in a cruel world filled with hate, ignorance, and violence, but as we all come together as one, a stop to violence will begin. Think about others around you, and put yourself in their shoes once in a while – it makes a whole difference.