GUN VIOLENCE IN THE UNITED STATES
WALKOUTS TO CALL FOR GUN CONTROL
written by emma ferraro
With the tragic increase in school shootings that has been noted across the United States, a new way that students have been taking action is through walk outs.
Walkouts took place after the Parkland School shooting in Florida, the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut, and others. They are now being seen after the recent heart-wrenching shooting that took place in Texas, leaving 19 elementary school students and two teachers dead.
Groups of students, not just in the surrounding areas of the shooting, but across the country, have been using their voices to speak out against the gun laws that leave numerous students dead every year as a result of violence in what should be a safe space. Just outside of Los Angeles, over 150 students from Crescenta Valley High School participated in a walkout. Some students noted remembering participating in a walkout for the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, when they were in middle school.
It’s tragic in the eyes of students that they’ve been speaking out against the violence that occurs right before their eyes to simply get ignored by policymakers. Proactive students will continue to participate in protests and petitions until they see reform with their own eyes. Students should not be fearful in an environment that exists for them to learn safely and grow into adults―not get killed before the age of 10.
According to USA Today, “Students at more than 200 schools in at least 34 states plus the District of Columbia walked out in response to the Uvalde massacre.” This obvious solidarity between students nationwide is a clear indicator that students have had enough of the lack of gun control laws protecting them from gun violence in their own schools. It seems as though everyone can see the problem except for the actual policymakers.
Inspiring students across the United States will continue to use their voices until the policies that they are speaking out for are actually implemented. This generation does not want our children to experience the same fear that we do when walking into school and wondering which one will be the next to be subjected to tragic results of gun violence.
Designed by Anneabella Pioquid
Designed by Anneabella Pioquid
U-TURN IN ULVADE
written by Michelle bok
Almost ten days after the fateful event in Uvalde, I can only imagine the kinds of emotions that have swept across this small-knit town. The conversations that have arisen in the US Congress, as well as in cities, towns, schools, and homes, now have shifted from tragedies to accusations and possible solutions all too difficult to arrive at. When questioned about what would be an ideal solution, my teachers – those who have hailed from the States – in unison have shaken their heads in defeat, “Nothing will change.” Those words of resignation were difficult for me to accept, maybe because I am an optimistic person by nature. Surely, a country such as the United States, wielding so much power, known to have taken charge in ridding the world of tyrannical forces in the past, could do something to remedy the gun violence, no? People in Uvalde deserve that; the children deserve that.
The world watches closely. The eyes of hope and scrutiny and everything in between is all a part of the global audience. After all, the United States spearheaded solving global poverty, granting aid to countries in economic distress or near bankruptcy, rolling out policies to render aid to refugees, or working with partner countries in alleviating regional conflicts that would usher in decades of collapse. While Koreans hope for the best for the U.S., I cannot say the same for China and Russia, whose hope may be to see the U.S. fail. They anticipate the domestic failures to become starting points of contentious debates. The U.S. doesn’t have a leg to stand on, for its own imperialistic conquests in the past show much blood on its hands. And for a country that cannot rid itself of domestic chaos cannot possibly preach to China and Russia about conscience. These are the arguments surely to follow if the White House Cabinet meets the heads of these countries.
The domestic news isn’t quite so domestic, for failure to resolve these issues only means more mockery from abroad. BBC and Al Jazeera are quick to weigh in. When your weakest points are exposed, only time will decide the sad fate. But these international relations are truly beyond the thoughts of grieving families, no? What do they know of the vast implications or the ripple effect? The working-class families take each day for what it is. What goes on in D.C. and beyond its toxic quibbles doesn’t matter to them all that much. They are sick and tired of their promises and even empty prayers. The Texas governor Abbott weighed in, then retracted comments when he realized that he was fed misinformation on how the police officers raided the school. Later, it was found that over an hour passed before the perpetrator was taken down.
Two shocks – the deaths of children and inept responses by the police – are still brewing in the town of Uvalde. This calamity only reminds me of what happened in Korea in April 2014. A ferry off the coast of the Korean peninsula capsized, taking with it some 300 high school students and teachers. The inaction by the authorities through the chain of command was just another mind-boggling human failure.
Are we so proud of our life achievements that we can never predict or imagine human downfalls? Why are so many of these so-called leaders fail to lead us? Why do they continue to lead us? As if a whirlwind has entered the town of Uvalde, sucked the life of the community into its vortex, did a quick U-turn, and has crossed the state lines to wreak continual havoc on the lives of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and beyond.