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Tue Feb 20, 2018, 08:41 PM

"I'm a teenager. And I'm fed up with adults' excuses for weak gun laws." [View all]

Article very worthwhile. Something that is really coming to the forefront since Parkland is how much fear students live with every day in school as shootings have become more commonplace:

I’m a teenager. And I’m fed up with adults’ excuses for weak gun laws.
We’ve grown up with the looming threat of school shootings.
By Elizabeth Love

On Thursday, in his statement on the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, President Trump assured America’s children that we “are never alone.” As a 17-year-old and a senior at West High School in Salt Lake City, I found this strained attempt at consolation empty and infuriating.

I was born in April 2000, a week shy of the Columbine massacre’s one-year anniversary, the event that marked the beginning of the modern school shooting epidemic. By the time I started kindergarten, there had been five more fatal school shootings in elementary, middle, or high schools.

As I near the end of my senior year, the number has swelled to 32 since 1998, not including suicides or gang-related violence. School shootings are etched into the timeline of my education as clearly as talent shows and picture days.

President Trump’s statement is meaningless. We have been alone for 20 years.

When Congress failed to pass gun reform after Sandy Hook, it was baffling. If 20 dead first-graders were not a call to action, then a call to action would never come. But that does not mean we’re stuck.

In 2016, the Associated Press found that only 15 percent of Americans believed gun policy should be a top-five political priority of that year. Though 92 percent of Americans support universal background checks, gun reform was a less significant issue to voters than terrorism and the economy.

But I can feel this changing. For older voters, gun violence may not feel so dire, so personal. But for those of us in school, there is nothing more personal. I was in seventh grade when Sandy Hook happened. I saw a school that looked like mine, with kids that looked like me, suddenly turned into a war zone. I spent the weekend after Sandy Hook terrified to return to school. When I did return, I was anxious whenever I was on my school’s first floor, reasoning that the second was safer.

I couldn’t stop thinking about the layout of my sister’s elementary school, worrying that her classroom was too close to the school’s entrance. I eyed closets and windows in my own classrooms, imagining where I would hide were a shooting to happen.

The teachers led drills, telling us to crouch beneath our desks. One sketched a diagram on the whiteboard to show us how to turn our desks into a barricade if the day came. “Lockdown” drills were routine.

My experiences are not unique. In American schools, the fear of gun violence always looms. Last week, even before Parkland, a car backfired outside my school, interrupting class with a sharp pop-pop-pop; adrenaline shot through my veins as I grabbed a friend in panic. All 32 pairs of eyes in the class widened as our teacher rushed to the window to confirm it was only a car.

For the students in Parkland, the ever-present fear turned into reality — and heightened worries in other schools. My friends whisper about who they fear would attempt something similar. They discuss how hard it would be to escape were an attack to happen on the lawn where we eat lunch.

More at link-very illuminating article:

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Reply "I'm a teenager. And I'm fed up with adults' excuses for weak gun laws." [View all]
Amaryllis Feb 2018 OP
OhNo-Really Feb 2018 #1
tblue37 Feb 2018 #2
Hoyt Feb 2018 #3
Skittles Feb 2018 #4
Initech Feb 2018 #5
TomSlick Feb 2018 #6
smirkymonkey Feb 2018 #7