Letter to the Editor: Past Our Breaking Point

Parkland. Sandy Hook. Virginia Tech. Columbine. These are the names of some of the deadliest mass school shootings in history. It hasn’t even been 18 years yet since Columbine, but I know that I still know their names, as do most of you… even though most of you weren’t even alive back then.

This discussion should have been had long ago. Long, LONG ago. Probably back in 1966, when the University of Texas tower shooting happened, when a gunman walked up to the top of a tower with a sniper and killed 14 (including an unborn child) and injured 31 others. You’re probably thinking “ah, she just googled that to prove a point.” In this case, you’d be wrong. I grew up in Texas, and I learned about its history while doing [University Interscholastic League] competitions in Texas. We’d have to choose something to dramatically read, and someone happened to chose the story of the University of Texas Shooting. It was one of the most profound things I’ve ever heard… this young middle schooler telling such a brutal and traumatic story.

Yet… there’s been no change. That’s why I’m so, so desperately hoping that the students of Parkland, the students that are OUR AGE, the Limbo Generation and Gen-Zers will be able to enact change for once. I mean, aren’t we the generation that grew up hearing, “You can be Katniss or Harry Potter, too! Stand up for yourself if the adults do nothing and fight back!”

We need some sort of reform, EVERYONE can see that. We can’t keep coming to school anymore not knowing if today’s going to be the day that a shooter walks in and kills someone, whether it be you or your friend. That’s no longer acceptable.

Let’s make getting a gun more like getting a driver’s license, having to take a class, have a waiting period, certain rules and restrictions, etc. Let’s make it harder for people with a history of violence, crime, and mental illness have to go through more background checks, and potentially be monitored during their use of firearms. Let’s stop the sale of weapons carrying more than 2-6 rounds of ammunition, because who really needs any more than that for “protection”?

So let’s all rally together this March 14th, for the National School Walkout to End Gun Violence. Let’s be the best of West Potomac, and the best of the nation. Let’s show that we too are serious about how badly we want gun law reform and start taking some action. Let’s unite, not just as a school, but as a whole generation, a generation fed up with the lack of action our predecessors have taken.