Stock Images Photo

Stock Images Photo

Samuel Mills, Staff Writer

As of the afternoon of December 1, 2021, four students have lost their lives in the Oxford, Michigan school shooting. Six others remain hospitalized. This is not the first time such an event has happened. Over the course of 2021, and with the complete inaction of our country’s higher-ups, it certainly won’t be the last. In an article published on November 30, The New York Times reported that this shooting is one of “28 school shootings resulting in injury or death in 2021” in the United States. Needless to say, this number is appalling and alarming. A staggering number of teachers, other school employees, and students have lost their lives to gun violence. The United States is, unsurprisingly, no stranger to these incidents.

The United States’ schools have experienced many tragedies. Some of the country’s most infamous school shootings include the 1999 Columbine shooting (Speaking of which, the fact that so many people romanticize the Columbine shooters is honestly disgusting and needs to be talked about more.), the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting (Literal grade-schoolers were brutally murdered, but the grieving parents had to deal with Alex Jones and others claiming it was a hoax to promote gun control for years.), and the 2018 Parkland shooting, among others. History seems to be continuously repeating itself, and the common denominator is that all of these shootings are taking place here, in our home, to our neighbors, families, and friends. After so many violent shootings, many people have been desensitized to these murders. It’s difficult to experience the same heartbreak over and over again. Seeing a shooting on the news every other week makes it… weirdly, and unfortunately, normal. Such a tragedy should never be viewed as normal. Children have been accustomed to frequent shooting drills that are treated as routine, as if they should come to school prepared to fight an armed intruder with safety scissors and plastic silverware. Parents have to send their kids to school every day knowing there is a chance, however small, that they may be hurt or killed by a shooter and never come home. I cannot imagine receiving the news that there is a shooter at my loved one’s school and having to wait hours to find out if they’re alright. These countless acts of violence have taken a major toll on the country and its people mentally, physically, and emotionally.

While these mass shootings have already done serious damage to dozens of families and schools across the nation, there still seems to be no end in sight. The grief and anguish felt by actual victims and their loved ones is treated with “thoughts and prayers” rather than action. Obviously, it is good to feel sympathy for victims and to keep them in your thoughts, but something actually needs to be done. At this rate, it is very likely that there will be just as many injuries and deaths from school shootings in 2022, 2023, and beyond. There will be countless students who will never make it to graduation or get the chance to live their lives, as well as school employees who will never make it to retirement. There will be more parents who have to bury their murdered children and more students who will watch their friends be gunned down in front of them. Why do the people with the power to solve this problem sit around and do nothing while more children are executed for the crime of coming to school? There have been several efforts by activists and survivors to spread awareness or find solutions to this problem, but these tragedies continue happening nonetheless. No kind person wants any more students to suffer, die, or be traumatized. The sooner that a solution is actually worked on and school shootings are stopped, the sooner this country can prevent these senseless deaths. How many more have to die before something is done about this? How many more innocent people with futures and dreams will never get to fulfill them? How many more times will a student in class hear a gunshot ring out and think, “Is this the end?”