On Sept. 18 the Sandy Hook Promise released a “Back-To-School Essentials,” an informational video about gun violence in schools, filmed as a back to school ad.
In the commercial the kids say things such as “thanks for the new skateboard” as the boy breaks the glass to escape his school and a little girl says “I finally got my own phone” as she texts her mom for what is presumably the last time.
This commercial isn’t overdramatic, it is America’s reality. We do live in a country where we know we’re not safe from gun violence in our schools, grocery stores, places of worship, movie theatres, music festivals, clubs or bars.
Almost everyday I hear of another mass shooting. Americans students are only left with the hope that they won’t be the next victim of a mass shooting. We protest and we fight for change but it feels like our legislators still view us as kids when its our lives on the line.
I had my first lockdown drill when I was in kindergarten. I wasn’t raised in the same world as my parents or my legislators, where I didn’t have to have a fear of going to school. I grew up in a world where I watched lawmakers decide that someone’s right to own an assault rifle was more important than me and my classmates lives and I’m watching the cycle repeat itself.
A red flag law, NC HB 454, which would allow concerned citizens and law enforcement to petition a judge for an extreme risk protection orders to restrict someone’s use of firearms, was filed in March of this year and was referred to the Judiciary Committee.
Although North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper filed an executive order in August for legislative action on HB 454 and HB 86, “the Gun Violence Prevention Act,” which both have been referred to the House Judiciary Committee, neither have had hearings.
Our politicians aren’t taking any action and kids are dying. “Bad guys with guns” can be stopped with stricter gun laws.
An article in The Washington Post said that 228,000 have been exposed to gun violence in schools since the Columbine shooting in 1999 as of May 2019. While it is September and this statistic is probably far out of date we should be concerned that this many students have been impacted by gun violence.
According to Everytown for Gun Safety, an organization that works to understand gun violence and reduce it, there have been 69 incidents of gun fire on school grounds in 2019, 11 of which resulted in deaths and 42 injuries. We are nine months into 2019 and 11 students have died on school grounds. School is supposed to be a safe place for students. They shouldn’t have a fear of dying in math class.
There is no reason for 228,000 students should be exposed to gun violence in their schools. There is no reason 11 students should have died due to guns at their schools just this year. There is no reason 42 students should have been injured due to gun violence their schools.
According to the Gun Violence Archive there have been 309 mass shootings in 2019 which is more than one mass shooting per day as it is only 269 day of the year.
I am writing this article Wednesday and I know the statistics I put in here won’t be accurate by Thursday.