How far do your thoughts and prayers go?

By Kaitlyn D'Ambrosio
February 19, 2018

Graphic by Hope Daluisio.

Schools should not be targets for mass shootings. Concerts, churches, night clubs and movie theaters should not be a place where people have to worry about being shot and killed.

On Feb. 14, 17 people were killed in an senseless act of violence at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. Once again, people across the country are giving their thoughts and prayers to the family and victims that had to endure the pain of either losing their beloved family and friends or being injured.

Instead of our representatives, senators, congressman and even president giving their thoughts and prayers, they should be putting forth action to ensure the safety of their citizens.

In this lifetime, we have been around for the worst kind of history our country can produce: the deadliest mass shootings in American history.

After the shooting in Florida, Trump sent his prayers in a tweet. Photo from Twitter: @therealDonaldTrump.

After every mass shooting this country has had to endure, there have been waves of people posting on social media. Everyone gives their thoughts and prayers to the victims, and sometimes, they will put a special filter on their Facebook profile pictures.

Then begins the call for gun reform. People go back and forth arguing in the comment sections, talking about if it would make a difference if certain guns were illegal or more difficult to possess; however, after a few weeks or so, the conversation ends.

Social media is no longer flooded with pictures of the perpetrator, the names of those who passed, what kind of gun was used and whether or not it should be legal for the average person to own. People forget about gun reform until it becomes a problem again.

When Tomi Lahren said that now was not time to discuss gun reform, a survivor of the Florida shooting responded. Photo from Twitter: @car_nove.

In order to make real change, the American people need to act and keep the conversation going, instead of letting everything blow over.

There are a protests planned to get the attention of lawmakers to make gun-control legislation. The first is going to occur on March 14, one month after the shooting in Florida, and is being planned by the Women’s March organizers.

Women’s March is calling upon teachers, school staff and students to walk out of their school at 10 am local time for 17 minutes, in honor of the 17 lives lost at Stoneman Douglas High School.

On March 24, the survivors of the school shooting in Florida announced the March for Our Lives in Washington, D.C.

There is another school walkout planned to occur on April 20, marking the 19th anniversary of Columbine.

Nobody wants to be scared of going to school. Children should not be killed where they are supposed to be safe.

How many more people need to die before our government works together to figure out a way to end the mass shooting epidemic in our country?

In order to protect ourselves and each other, we need to keep discussing these horrific events and the type of reform that can change that.

Kaitlyn D'Ambrosio

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