Editorial: Enough is Enough – Lawmakers must act now to end mass shootings


A LAFD firefighter treats a victim during a simulated school shooting drill. In order to prevent more school shootings, federal laws need to be created to limit access to firearms. Image source: LA County Fire Department .

Columbine. Virginia Tech. Sandy Hook. Parkland. Our generation has lived through the worst school mass shootings in history.

We have become accustomed to saying, “I love you,” to our friends and families. We hug one another in the mornings when we get on the bus, and we wave to our parents before we leave home. Why?

We are scared. We’re scared that we might never see them again.

As survivor Emma Gonzalez said in her speech in the wake of the Parkland shooting, it is often easier to buy a gun than to make plans to hang out with friends on the weekend.

Our generation, “Generation Z,” has grown up in a world where mass shootings are normalized. We’ve never experienced a time where schools have been free of gun violence — and that’s scary.

Since Columbine in 1999, it hasn’t been shocking to see yet another killing on TV or to read of an armed perpetrator in the news because we’ve heard about violence like this so many times before. Simply put, we’ve known nothing different.

In 2015 alone, there were 372 mass shootings in the United States. According to BBC,mass shooting is defined as a shooting incident where four or more people are killed.

Since 2013, there have been 294 school shootings specifically. School’s should be safe spaces where children go to learn, not to die. 

President Donald Trump, you are a father of five children. You have seen them grow up into adults and have been with them throughout their lives. Imagine if one day you took them to school, and they never came home. Imagine if that was the last day you ever saw them.

We cannot sit idly by and innocent children die each year. School shootings should alarm us, and gun-violence cannot remain a frequent occurrence. National legislation must be made to end the violence now.

How many mass shootings need to happen, how many more innocent lives need to be lost until serious action is taken?

Arming teachers is not the answer; more guns will not end this violence.

Instead, the United States needs to create stricter laws to prevent people form buying guns. No teenager should be able to purchase a gun. As Gonzalez said in her CNN speech, “[Nikolas Cruz] would not have killed as many people with a knife.”

Parkland is exactly the violence that should have been prevented, but from tragedy, change can and should emerge. 

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students have been at the forefront for gun control advocacy, speaking out at CNN town hall meetings and coordinating protests. They even met with the president himself to advocate for legislation to combat gun violence.

America may be one of the wealthiest countries in the world, but gun violence here is unprecedented — there have been three shootings at schools this month alone. America needs stricter gun control laws and increased mental health awareness.

The students of MSD are not crisis actors. They are activists, survivors and the faces of an anti-gun movement that should end school shootings forever.

We stand with Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Change needs to be made. Enough is enough.