The never-ending cycle of school shootings continues
by CAmpbell small
It’s a Tuesday. I have just checked the news to discover that the nation is reeling from a shooting that has killed 19 children and 2 teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. All I can think is the cycle hasn’t stopped and it doesn’t seem to stop. I am 20 years old. I am 2 years younger than the mass shooting at Columbine High school, the first modern mass school shooting in the U.S. People my age are not unfamiliar with word-of-mouth messages about what days to not come to school. We grew up with drills for this tragedy and have shared images on social media which feature notices about someone’s plan to shoot up a school. For us, the biggest fear at school is being shot.
This fear may appear to be irrational but, according to Everytown, a non-profit that works to fight against gun violence, in 2022 there have been 96 incidents of gunfire on school grounds. There were 105 in 2018, 67 in 2014. There is no sign of it stopping. I’m still terrified, but I am no longer surprised. We have heard the phrase “never again will this happen” countless times, but to me, this phrase seems insane. After all, to me, insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. None of the factors have changed and yet we expect a different result.
Everytown has even found that 58% of shooters are associated with the school. 70% are white males, and 100% of attackers exhibited warning signs.74% of shooters obtain the gun from their home or a friends or relatives’ home and, as CBS notes, the weapon is the same. AR-15 is the most popular weapon for mass shootings. This was the weapon used for the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, and the most recent shooting at Robb Elementary School. These statistics reflect that the same types of people commit these shootings and the weapons used in them are the same as well. Yet we expect the outcomes to differ. Sounds like insanity.
Despite this, the United States has failed to make any significant changes. The country has had exponentially more school shootings than other major industrialized nations combined. Yet there has been a lack of harsh gun restrictions. Instead, some speeches provide thoughts and prayers or solutions that attempt to mitigate the consequences of a shooter’s actions but fail to limit the only thing that differentiate the U.S from other industrialized nations, their guns. For example, lockdown drills are used in 95% of American public schools but have almost no affirming value. Uvalde even had a multi-layered security plan in place, and it failed to prevent the tragedy.
School shootings are consistent, and the cycle is clear. Schools practice hazard reduction, somebody grabs a gun from his house or an easy-access source, a shooting occurs, officials give condolences, mental health issues are blamed, and the cycle repeats. Why haven’t policymakers implemented the change? Well, the United States has a history rooted in the fact that citizens may need to arm themselves as a means of protection from their government. This Is even written in the 2nd Amendment of the constitution, and, despite the constant tragedies politicians accept money from groups that firmly believe this idea, regardless of the ever-mounting tragedy.
According to Open Secrets, current senators and house members from Texas have received more than $14 million in contributions from gun rights interests throughout their careers. Most of which has come from the National Rifle Association, which historically promotes low weapon regulation. All of this, while there have been 8 major mass shootings in Texas over the past 13 years according to the University of Texas. I am unaware of an incentive that can outweigh what is happening that could be used to break the cycle. I do know that what is currently being done is insanity, and the insanity will not end unless a change occurs.
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