As the school year begins families begin to buy an assortment of necessary items for when their child returns to school. However, news coverage of countless school shootings and murders are still prevalent. With the start of the new year, a start of new fear in the back of our minds takes hold. Questions like will my child be safe in school? Does my child know how to act in the event of an active school shooting? Some might think, “My child would never be harmed inside a school building,” yet there were 415 recorded K-12 firearm incidents over the last ten years according to the K-12 School Shooting Database.
The Enoch Brown school massacre is perhaps the earliest shooting to happen on school or college property. The event happened during the Pontiac's War on July 26, 1764, where four Delaware (Lenape) American Indians entered the schoolhouse near present-day Greencastle, Pennsylvania, and shot and killed schoolmaster Enoch Brown and nine children (reports vary). Only two children survived. However, this incident may only incidentally be considered a school "shooting" because only the teacher was shot, while the other nine victims were killed with melee weapons according to the List of School Shootings in the United States by Death Toll.
The most notorious in recent years being the Columbine High School Massacre which occurred, April 20, 1999, resulted in an ever-present trend within the United States. The latest trend in school shootings came yesterday, September 18, 2019, with the release of a commercial showing a back to school active shooter on the first day of school as a Public Service Announcement presented by the Sandy Hook Promise (SHP).
“SHP’s mission is to create a culture engaged in preventing shootings, violence, and other harmful acts in schools. SHP is a moderate, above-the-politics organization that supports sensible program and policy solutions that address the ‘human side’ of gun violence by preventing individuals from ever getting to the point of picking up a firearm to hurt themselves or others. Our words, actions, and impact nationwide are intended to honor all victims of gun violence by turning our tragedy into a moment of transformation,” according to sandyhook.org under their “mission” statement.
The States has reached a point where gun violence and terror within the system has become the norm. Countless shootings occur daily, which are not reported because there were not enough students, faculty or people killed to warrant a news report. Most of the time the school shootings go on in silence. Victims of a terrible act never mentioned or recognized. The day progresses, and everyone moves on to the latest trend within a few months. Where does it end? Does it have an end? Organizations and individuals have thought of these questions time and time again but never has an answer or a solution which appeases both sides of the argument which ultimately comes down to the Second Amendment and the Right to Bear Arms.
When violence is promoted, and corporations begin selling hoodies with bullet holes sewn into the fabric with the name of the school which suffered a loss of life, that is when it no longer is up to news outlets or corporations to come up with the answer. The individual comes in to play as he, she or they have to make a conscious decision in how they want to raise their children, what exposure their child or children will receive. How to make them aware of the brutal and, at times, sick nature our culture is becoming.
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By: Alex Fernandez