17 killed. Approximately 20 injured. With the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, it adds another tally to a shocking total of 17 school shootings in just 45 days into 2018. The process of the event was all just the same and all too familiar. Although the suspect in the shooting, Nikolas Cruz, was captured, arrested and put into custody, many parents and survivors keep asking the same questions, “Why us?”, “When will the next one happen?” and “Why isn’t anyone doing anything about it?”. School shootings aren’t too rare, especially in the US, but many believe as though that authorities have done nothing to stop any other shooting crimes from happening again.
Many people believe that the way that these crimes would either be diminished or prevented from happening again is to make stricter gun laws: make guns less accessible to younger humans, give more security precautions at schools such as backpack checks or give teachers conditional retaliation weapons, and more. Columbine High School, Sandy Hook Elementary School, Virginia Tech University and now Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are just infamous names that sparked up debate about just how much is the government doing to stop these crimes from happening again. Many students and parents became gun control activists, demanding for a change in the laws that could possibly be what’s allowing for such crimes to happen. The gun control advocacy group “Never Again MSD” known as #NeverAgain was founded in order to advocate for tighter regulations.
“Let’s make a deal DO NOT come to Florida for spring break unless gun legislation is passed. These politions won’t listen to us so maybe the’ll listen to the billion dollar tourism industry in FL.
#neveragain” -David Hogg, @davidhogg111
Along with the new activists groups advocating for tighter regulations, more than 20 brands have dropped the #BoycottNRA hashtag in order to support the boycott of the National Rifle Association, a non-profit association that is supposed to advocate for gun rights and help secure safer gun laws. Corporations such as United, Delta, Hertz Corp, and Wyndham Hotels have cut their ties with the NRA while other famous corporations such as Amazon, FedEx, Google and Apple haven’t had their say yet. The public is getting impatient and immediate change is what everyone is fighting for as Donald Trump, confronted with calls for action from teenagers affected by the shooting, held an unusual public meeting weeks after the shooting with survivors and parents who have lost their children. Days after the meeting, Trump assured improved background checks for gun purchases and days after, Florida governor Rick Scott proposed legislation that would raise the legal age for owning a firearm in the state to 21, something that the NRA had opposed in the past.
“The power of the PEOPLE is greater than the power of the NRA.
#NeverAgain” -Ryan Knight, @ProudResister
So you might be asking, “How does this affect Canada?” or “Could this have been possible in our country?”. Well rest assured, according to sources that list major school shootings in Canada, the last recorded shooting was on September 30th, 2010 at Central Technical School. But other than that, we haven’t had much news on related school shootings within Canada, so something must be going right with our gun laws and our security within schools. Furthermore, National Post published an article named “Would Canadian Gun Laws Have Stopped America’s Worst Mass Shooters?” and many of them report that they wouldn’t have likely happened in Canada. Reasons include smaller gun clips for less shots, stricter gun purchase screenings, and restrictions to where guns are to be stored and purchased. But the point still stands that gun violence is still evident in our world. Although we may not be living in the same country as those affected by these mass shootings, we should never forget about them and always strive to make Canada and the whole Earth a safer education environment. It is reported that some of these school shootings were caused by depression and anxiety from bullying, and that is something that we at WGSS can help prevent RIGHT NOW. Even though we don’t have to worry about the big things, little things like preventing bullying in the hallways is a great way to make the school a safer learning space for everyone!