The School Shooting Epidemic

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School shootings have been plaguing America for the last couple decades and we have yet to find a soluble solution. It seems as though we are caught at a divide between a gun ban and arming teachers. I’m here to suggest that neither of those plans will give us the solution we are hoping for and here is why. Arming teachers is a scary thought in my opinion; for one you are asking teachers to fulfil a secondary requirement that was not present at the beginning of the job but even more importantly you are asking these teachers to pull the trigger on a kid who they know, have taught, and someone who is supposed to be shaping our future world, but the set of living conditions they have been given turned them into a monster for lack of a better term.  The understanding we need to have is that we are all capable of doing extremely horrific things with the right set of conditions, poor parenting, and complete isolation. We need to address what is happening to the students who are becoming school shooters. The reason this is so important leads directly into my next point about the ineffectiveness of a gun ban. These students who are committing these atrocities shouldn’t have access to weapons, but more importantly, they shouldn’t have the capacity to want to murder anyone. If we take away the guns the same set of conditions will still exist for that student. For example, almost all school shooters have experienced the same kind of childhood, they are bullied at home, bullied at school, then isolated by their peers and made to feel as though they are completely worthless. This leads to a complete disconnect between actual life and a lack of care for other people.

It is extremely easy to stand up against guns when you have just experienced a school shooting, but what is very hard to do is look past the media, the liberals, the conservatives, and address the actual problem, bullying. When I talk about bullying I’m not talking about when you are mean to your friend or when you are joking around, bullying is something that starts in kindergarten and goes through 12th grade. Everyone knows the kid that I am talking about, they may be quieter and it caused them to be more isolated from people at younger ages and maybe they didn’t find a friend group. As they go through elementary school they develop to be the ‘weird’ kid who always sits alone at lunch and doesn’t have many friends if any at all. As we get into high school this is where the bullying takes full effect. This person has been isolated by the same peers for ten years and has fully turned into the kid that no one talks to, people make fun of, and is always completely quiet and alone. They have had no friends or family interaction for all this time and they feel as though it’s no longer worth it to live. This is where the separation happens. A lot of these students who feel this way will just commit suicide but if other students have hurt them, then they feel like they need to get back at people before they die themselves. This needs to be addressed. It isn’t one event that makes someone commit a school shooting it is years and years of isolation and being told they are worthless, weird, and never getting ANY attention at all.

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If we want to actually make a difference we need to instill the understanding into the young children that being kind to everyone around you can lead to a life or death scenario. I’m positive that if we could go back in time to one year before the Parkland shooting and we went up to the principle and said, “Nikolas Cruz (Parkland shooter) is going to come into your school in one year to date and kill 17 people.” He would be able to identify the reasons why immediately. There wouldn’t need to be some investigation as to why he’s going to commit the murders, it would be obvious. He has been isolated from elementary school, he has a poor family life, and people regularly bully him. If these conditions are so easily noticeable why aren’t we doing something about it now? It is extremely easy to think that a gun ban or arming teachers is the solution because we want instant solutions to problems in America, but what is really hard is to be the most popular kid in school and take that completely isolated kid into your group and treat him nicely. At a young age, we need to teach compassion and understanding for others situations. If our young students had a better grasp on what happens when you leave someone isolated and bullied for their whole life, then I truly believe the students would make an extreme effort to incorporate everyone into their own lives. When I went to high school I was not like this, but now that I see what happens when people live through those conditions. I wish I could go back and do it differently…

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