Opinion: Calling for action against gun violence

Feature Photo By: Jessica Rangel – Showiet Perry poses while hiding under a table following red lock down procedures. Red lock downs mean that there is a threat in the building and students are instructed to hide to stay safe. 

By: Jessica Rangel, Review Staff

Opening up Twitter on the night of February 14th, thousands of tweets flood my feed with the Parkland shooting hashtag. My stomach drops as I click a video uploaded of students screaming as they hear shots and shakily record their lifeless teacher on the ground. Watching with tears running down my face, I can’t help but wonder where the future of this country is headed.

About two weeks after the shooting, I’m still sitting here in disbelief at the the lack of action taken by our government. Shooting after shooting, the cycle repeats: we mourn, we keep them in our prayers, the media covers it for about a month, and then it’s never spoken about again; it just becomes “just another tragedy”.

I want to know how many tragedies have to happen and how many people have to die until enough is enough? When another headline about a mass shooting appears on our screens, it’s almost like it isn’t a surprise anymore.

“I hate to say that I’m numb to school shootings because they’ve happened so often and it’s like ‘oh, another one’,” said senior Showiet Perry. “But at the same time, it is heartbreaking and I wish I could do something to change what’s happening.”

A poster hangs up in a hallway displaying a tribute to the people killed in the Florida shooting. A popular hashtag on Twitter commemorates the memory of those lost. (Jessica Rangel)

The simple fact is, the more it continues to go on, the more we as a society are becoming desensitized to the killing of innocent men, women, and children.

I’m not sure what exactly it is about this shooting that compelled me to write this story. Possibly that I, too, am still in high school, or maybe it’s the idea that I’m still hearing about mass shootings after so many unforgettable tragedies like Newtown, Las Vegas, and even Aurora. They drive me to speak out on this topic.

I don’t want to turn on TV to see another shooting caused by a white male with a mental illness. I want the system to see the hurt across the country and finally do something other than pray about it. Praying isn’t going to suffice any longer. It is time to put our feet down as the young voices of America and fight back against the National Rifle Association and gun laws.

Let’s face it, the Second Amendment doesn’t apply to modern advancements anymore. Before the creation of the AR-15, the most dangerous weapon our Founding Fathers could possess was a musket that could shoot around 2 to 3 rounds, whereas rifles today are created to shoot over a 100 times per minute.

I do believe that it is your right to choose whether or not to own a gun, but there is no excuse or reason for a civilian to easily possess a rifle, which is the main cause of mass shootings. Yes, people kill people, but guns help kill more people.

When asking students at Rangeview about the Second Amendment, senior Dahn Gyaviira spoke out to say, “If you want to own a gun, I believe there should be a lengthy process to be able to get your hands on one.”

This country needs restriction and a procedure to make sure the person in possession of a gun is capable of using it without malicious intentions.

Unfortunately, it is truly sickening to admit that if our government won’t change its laws after elementary school kids were murdered, I have little hope they would change them after this one.

The morning after the shooting, my mother walked into my room before leaving for work to say, “Please be safe today. I love you so much,” hugging me so tightly I could feel her tears wet my shirt. At that moment, I took in every worry and every ounce of pain that parents go through sending their children off to school — a place where they should be safe, but sadly aren’t anymore.

Seeing the fright in my parents’ eyes and in the millions of others suffering through the tragedy, I know I can’t just sit back and wait for something to happen.

On March 14th, students from all over the U.S are planning to walkout of class at 10 AM to support those affected by not only the Parkland shooting, but by shootings before that. The walkout is to protest gun violence and the negligence towards younger generations’ opinions.

Perry states, “I will be participating in the walkout because I know we deserve a better future.”

Just like many other students at Rangeview, I will proudly stand with my peers as we walk out of school Wednesday, March 14th to put an end to this silence from our government. Our anger and fear will fuel the fire to, once and for all, let the world know we won’t back down until justice is served.