How Many More? | Aimee Han
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article do not reflect the opinions of Pulse Magazine as a whole.
It would be quite the understatement to say that I’m tired of this. I’m tired of all the headlines in the news. I’m tired of how normal this subject has gotten. And I think I speak on the behalf of all students when I say that there needs to be an end to school shootings. Because how many more need to suffer, mentally, emotionally, or physically, for there to be a change?
What about the younger ones entering the depths of high school having to mentally prepare themselves for the fact that, on top of social and academic pressures, they will inevitably have to face school shooting drills, news, and potentially even experience it? Yet, apparently, the lives of students at hand are not enough for sufficient gun control to be implemented. Was Columbine not horrifying enough? Was Parkland not enough of a wake-up call? Yet with all of this grief and loss, America as a whole still does not take initiative to protect student lives because it is more convenient for them to attribute the shootings to mental health instead of doing their own job: provide a safe environment for students to learn.
Last Wednesday, October 8th, a student opened fire in a classroom at Timberview High School in Arlington, Texas. Two people were shot while two other students suffered injuries. The accused suspect, Timothy George Simpkins, was released from custody after posting bond the following day. The police on the case are claiming that the student opened fire after a fight, and the family claims that Simpkins was previously bullied and robbed at school.
Although there is no justification for the fact that the student decided to take the gun to school, there is much deserved empathy for the extremely negative experiences the student had experienced. Thus, this makes this particular event a little more complicated than most. For many years, the conflict between the cause of school shootings, whether it be mental health or gun control, have caused heated debate and controversy amongst the nation; in fact, this situation in particular highlights the argument at hand. While we may sympathize for the student, it’s also infuriating that the mental health of the student would be considered the sole justification for the event occurring. The majority of adolescents who experience mental health struggles do not actively choose to hurt others with the intent of murder or extreme violence. Instead, we, as a society, must reevaluate how much we value our guns, particularly our 2nd Amendment. Because if the right to bear arms comes with a lack of guarantee in the safety of students across the nation to learn in a safe environment, isn’t that enough reason to increase restriction? Shouldn’t we, as a country, value our own lives and the lives of others over a weapon that has the intent to harm or kill?
And you would think, with all of this reasoning that comes down to basic human rights, we would see something spark across the country. But with lack of interest and increased acceptance of the normalization of these types of school shootings, our society has demonstrated that the right to bear arms is worth more than the lives of actual human beings. Although I sincerely hope for the better, my thoughts are absolutely exhausted in rewriting these same words over and over again, as are other adolescents, in begging for improved gun control to receive insurance of our future. How many more seconds, days, or years will it take for us to live in a world where school shootings cease to exist? As optimistic as I would like to be, I couldn’t answer this question for you, nor will I be able to in the near future. Because the truth is, as long as our society believes that sympathy is enough, our lives will always be at stake.