December 10, 2019

With Christmas Comes Nostalgia -

Monday, December 9, 2019

November Book Recommendations -

Monday, December 9, 2019

SMHS Mateobotics Gears Up for the Season -

Thursday, November 14, 2019

The Leap from High School to College Sports -

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Mateo Comes up Short: 2019 Little Big Game -

Thursday, November 14, 2019

The Master of Self-Deprecating Humor -

Thursday, November 14, 2019

How Old is “Too Old” for Trick-or-Treating? -

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

We Need to Get Serious About Shootings -

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

How Boyan Slat Is Helping Solve The Great Pacific Garbage Patch -

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Youtube’s Yankovic turned Chinese TikTok Star: Bart Baker -

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

#TeamTrees -

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Varsity Football -

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

CA Bill Pushes School Start Times Back -

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Why the Empire Strikes Back is the best Star Wars movie -

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Pros and Cons of Energy Drinks -

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Movies to Watch during Halloween -

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Bearcats Strike for Climate -

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

A Personal Account On Vaping -

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Girls Water Polo Resumes Winning Ways -

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Running into the 2019 season -

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

We Need to Get Serious About Shootings

Out of the thousands of deaths, 525 were children and 2,313 were teenagers.

Something needs to be done about shootings. America has a problem where we are 25 times more likely to die from gun violence in comparison to many affluent countries that have banned firearms or regulated them to a high degree according to Gifford’s Law Center. It seems as though many conservatives refuse to address the issue, and many liberals fight the wrong ones. Both have differing agendas that have lead to nothing but inaction. Familiar stories about individuals and families grieving over the loss of a loved one to a criminal with an agenda continue to plague news articles today. Ignoring the problem won’t make it go away, and neither will banning it altogether. 

According to the Gun Violence Archive website, there have been over 42,349 incidents relating to guns since 2013 as of October. This takes into account incidents that both have and have not resulted in a death or injury. Out of these incidents, 11,236 did result in death, and 22,273 resulted in injury, with 1,294 deaths in total being unintentional. The study also records cases where guns were actually used responsibly. In total only 1,322 deaths were related to home invasions and 1,138 deaths were defensive.  In comparison with other affluent countries and even some poorer countries, America is an outlier in gun violence. Although the study doesn’t take into account how many cases of crime were deterred due to ownership of a firearm, the cost of having more guns than there are people has taken a toll on the lives of thousands of Americans, and will dig us down a hole that will only get deeper.

Incidents of firearm misuse and mass killings are no longer isolated cases anymore. “I lost a friend my senior year to gun violence. It was a domestic incident. Her father shot her and her twin sister four days before their 17th birthday. He killed himself too, because he didn’t want to deal with the consequences, so the only one left is their mother.” said Selena Cuenca, a high school graduate from College Park High. “I remember it was super early in the morning when I first found out that she passed away, except I didn’t know how. It was like I went into shock because I couldn’t process anything.” The incident happened in Chicago, Illinois where 2141 people were shot in 2019, which was 208 people fewer than in 2018. “And I remember a few days later when I found out what actually happened and how she died. I broke down before I could even make it into my third period class.”  

“Every time that time of year comes around it gets really hard for me. I can’t focus on any of my school work and things in life. My best friend was also in the Parkland shooting and she knew the shooter personally. I’m always afraid that she’s going to call me up again one day and tell me she’s afraid for her life.” A single shot can leave a crippling wave among families and victims. The mental trauma associated with shootings is nearly always misrepresented in media, with it being overdramatized to the point of desensitization or forgotten completely. “It felt like I was in a movie and like it wasn’t real. Because this stuff only happens in the movies.”

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what party you are. Whether you’re conservative, liberal or somewhere in between, we are all affected by guns in some way. The US is in need of reform, and so far the voices of change and the cries of the afflicted have been drowned out by the shouts of politics and faulty promises of something new. “I shared my story with friends who have a bigger platform and a reach than I do and they turned that into something amazing.” Selena is now a strong advocate against gun violence. “They started selling shirts that said ‘Protect Kids Not Guns’ and 100% of the proceeds go towards gun buybacks in communities.” You can find these at thisismoontower.com. “I’ve been doing better in terms of telling people [my story] because I want people to know the effects that this kind of trauma has on the people who are left to pick up the pieces.” Often, victims are ignored and society moves on to watch for a new one. We can’t stand and wait for the next tragedy to be swept under the rug as constant disagreement and political infighting leads us back the same path we’ve been going for years. It’s time for a decision, and it needs to be made before more victims are made and more stories are told. “One million starts with one person, after all,” concludes Selena, a victim, political activist and human being. 

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