It Could Happen to You, Too

The media, politicians need to switch the gun control debate to be more about guns, not just schools.

Lizzie Skidmore, Staff Writer

For most, it is vital to keep up with current events — like in my family, where the TV never changes from CNN. For others, it doesn’t mean anything — I mean, why worry about the national debt when there are other things to do?
So maybe some don’t know about the looming trade war with China or about the missiles sent to Syria. But you don’t have to watch the news to know what the number one topic of debate is in our divided country right now — gun reform.

Since 13 students were killed in Columbine 19 years to the day, there have been 208 school shootings. While there has been an average of about 10 school shootings a year, 2018 started off with 18 in just 3 months.

It’s an epidemic, one that no politician cares enough to cure.

But while we have focused so much on Marjory Stoneman Douglas and school shootings, we have forgotten about the Las Vegas, the Pulse Nightclub, and the Aurora movie theater shootings.

Politicians, the media, and some of us have turned this conversation to focus so much on schools that we forget that metal detectors and teachers with guns can’t protect anyone outside.

This isn’t all about schools, it’s about guns and mass shootings.

Because the reality of a 17 year old in America is that I find myself watching the exits more than the movie at a theater. I catch myself profiling people at malls based on what they look like. I start wondering if I should run when I hear a loud noise at school. I shouldn’t have these thoughts – I should be able to go out with my friends, worry free.

But politicians, especially ours in Kansas, will do nothing and the media, no matter how much I benefit from them, will continue to focus this debate on schools.

It’s a good step, and it would be amazing if policies could get passed so I have one less place to worry.

I’m a kid, however, and I should be writing this editorial about “why Tinder is bad” or “why homework is not beneficial.”

Instead, today on Apr. 20, I’m walking out of my class and fighting for the progress that some adults are too scared of — because we were raised to be strong, and we won’t be quiet in the wake of change.