GoC #1: When will it be enough?

The Columbine High School massacre happened nearly 21 years ago in 1999, its anniversary coming up on April 20. Since then, we’ve had 231 school shootings in America alone (data is from December 1, 2020). Ranging from pre-k to college, 304 have been killed as the result of school shootings. Staff, students, children, adults, families, and friends were taken away too soon. We may be going through a pandemic right now, but school shootings have been an epidemic in the U.S for over two decades. 

As a current high school student and a prospective college student, I constantly live in fear that my school is going to be next on the news and added to the list of many schools that have fell victim to gun violence. I know I shouldn’t think like that, but it’s hard not to. We have protocols on how to handle this type of situation. The idea of “Run, Hide, Fight” is engraved in our brains and sadly, isn’t going anywhere soon. If anything, our school systems and our government will add to this idea to keep students and staff safe. But why is this necessary? Why is our country so infested with violence? Gun abuse has been a hot topic for years, especially amongst politicians. The brutal reality is that it shouldn’t be in question anymore. People are dying. That should be enough for us to make a change. 

A selfie of Parkland and I
Parkland and the ribbon I wore in honor of the Parkland shooting and MFOL

I was a freshman when the Parkland shooting took place. The freshmen class was the target during that school shooting. It was the first time I’ve seen such action in my community. We all came together, behind the Parkland kids and March For Our Lives (MFOL), and stood in silence for the innocent lives lost. 17 were shot and killed as a result of gun violence. The scary truth that we need to face is what if we are next. 

Since I’m just like those students that attended Columbine, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Sandy Hook, or Virginia Tech, I felt I needed some questions answered about what is being done to keep each other safe. This is happening in our generation. I cannot sit here and let the list grow longer. This is me and this is you in the conversation now. History is constantly repeating itself, just now it’s a different school, state, and body count.  Parkland by Dave Cullen goes through each MFOL leader’s story and the day of the shooting. Cullen guides us through the thought process of #NeverAgain and MFOL and the journey these students endured. This book hits close to home because it can happen to any one of us. It’s hard to not have that cross my mind when we have had over 200 school shootings. When will it be enough? How have we let ourselves get to this point? When will I know that I’m not next? Hopefully, Parkland can answer these questions, provide us peace of mind, and allow schools to be a safe place once again. 

Published by Ellie Lim

Hi! I'm Ellie, and I'm a Senior at Glenbrook North High School. Some of my interests include synchronized figure skating, spending time with my friends and family, and being with my dog. For synchro, I compete on behalf of Team USA!

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