Stand Together, America.


photo courtesy of Sarah Meadows

Many schools in America, such as YLHS, have implemented preventative tactics, such as surrounding gates, in order to avoid a catastrophic event from happening.

Sarah Meadows, Section Editor

An eight year old little girl sits confused in class as her teacher uses every brain cell available to power the appropriate response to the question, “why do kids shoot other kids at school?” Politically speaking, the “why” lies in a debate over gun control versus mental illness awareness. Nonetheless, any average eight year old would simply become more entangled in their confusion by this response. As a matter of fact, any average high schooler would as well. Thus, it is important that such a complex issue is simplified into less confusing topics of conversation.

Without a doubt, the debate over gun control versus mental health awareness is a pretty split issue. On one hand, some believe that gun control will help to prevent the spread of the school shooting epidemic in America. Shayda Roshdieh (11), a member of the March for Our Lives program argued, “With stricter gun regulations and harsher background checks, these ‘killing machines’ will be less likely to end up in the hands of killers.” On the other hand, others believe that mental illness awareness will help to prevent the spread of the school shooting epidemic in America. An anonymous YLHS staff member argued, “Where there is a will, there is a way.” In other words, mentally ill individuals who want the possession of illegal guns will find a way to possess such guns. Thus, this leads to the point that the source of the problem is the underlying mental illness. 

Any controversial debate in history is not black or white, but rather it is a combination of multiple issues, or “gray” matter. In this case, it is important to not only push Congress to pass stricter gun laws but also to advocate the fight to bettering mental health awareness in America. Indeed, that does seem like a rather large job for high school students to fulfill. To simplify these demands, all students should do when they come to YLHS everyday is two simple roles. First, they should pay attention in history and relate these historic events to current events regarding gun regulation. Educating oneself politically at an early age is one of the most beneficial characteristics one can have. Second, they should always be looking to be a friend to all on campus by sitting with the new kid at lunch or by inviting the shy kid to hang out over the weekend. Students’ home lives are already hard enough, and they do not need to be worsened at school. Doing so will spread an environment of security on campus, or an “escape” from the outside world.

Preventing the problem is only one side of the story; knowing what to do in the situation is the other side. All schools, from elementary to high school, are demanded by the government to undergo mandatory lockdown drills to know what to do in case of an emergency.

Regardless of one’s political beliefs, all can agree on one thing and one thing only: school shootings in America need to end before more innocent lives are lost. Finding the root of the cause is a complex issue that needs to be resolved in the future. Nonetheless, it needs to be done so in an inclusive manner, understanding both sides’ arguments. If America cannot banned together to end the issue, it very well could be just the start. We the people need to stand together in times of both heartbreaking and heartwarming events. Indeed, it is a need, not a want.