‘I shouldn’t be scared to come to school’

Congress needs to enforce stricter gun laws for better safety

‘I shouldn’t be scared to come to school’

Clara Oesterling, Student Life editor

The day was rainy, humid and muggy. It was during 3rd lunch. I was dissecting a pig’s heart in the  lab and making jokes with classmates. The fire alarm blared loudly, making every single one of us in class uneasy. We froze and looked at our teacher as he hesitated to tell us, “Drop your things and go.”

With it being the day after the tragic Stoneman shooting in Parkland, Florida, a lot of students at my school were already on edge about coming to class, so the unexpected noise only worsened our feelings. During the shooting in Florida, suspect Nikolas Cruz pulled the fire alarm shortly after firing five shots towards classrooms and hallways, making it easier for him to blend into the crowd of teachers and students tumbling outside.

The fact that a school shooter was one of the first thoughts to come to my mind in reaction to the sound of a fire alarm frightens me, and quite honestly, I shouldn’t be scared to come to school.

It turned out that the alarm went off due to a “faulty smoke detector,” as Principal Brian Knight explained over the intercom later that afternoon.

However, there is a much more important issue at hand than being scared to come to school. Students shouldn’t have to come to school with the risk of getting shot.

According to The Guardian, 1,624 people have died in a mass shooting since 2013.

This number infuriates me, and I blame the limited amount of America’s gun restrictions.

As of right now, anyone with a gun permit could walk into a store, buy a semi-automatic gun and carry it out on the streets.

I cannot exaggerate enough just how wrong this is. The AR-15, what Nikolas Cruz used, was literally “designed to kill people as efficiently as possible,” according to the Huffington Post, so why do civilians get access to these?

The National Rifle Association, or NRA, has donated millions upon millions of dollars to politicians. According to Fortune, the NRA spent $11,438,118 to support President Donald Trump.

There has even been multiple protests in reaction to this, but yet no changes have been made, and America has more school shootings than any other country, according to the Washington Post. So, something needs to be changed.

I get it, people like having handguns to protect their loved ones or themselves. They see it as a symbol of freedom backing up the Second Amendment, the right to bear arms, and I agree with that to a certain degree. So, keep your handguns and keep your shotguns used to  hunt with if that’s what you please, but we don’t need to be carrying around semi-automatic weaponry

Four teachers that I know of initially held their students in the classroom when hearing the fire alarm because even they weren’t sure what to think of at first. So, not only has school become an unsafe environment to learn in for students, but also an unsafe environment to work in for teachers.

How many more shootings will it take for Congress to make a change? How many more people have to die? I’m not sure, but I am heartbroken. My prayers and condolences are with the families of the lost ones in the Stonebrook shooting.