EDITORIAL: Mass Shootings, Massive Failures

Gun violence is rampant in schools and legislators should be held accountable


Geneva Sabatini

A student holds a board stating “0 days since a mass shooting.” According to the Gun Violence Archive, as of April 19, the number of mass shootings in America exceeded 140 for the year of 2023.

Natasha Torkzaban

Firearm deaths occur five times more than drownings. Instead of teaching your child how to swim, you might consider firearm defense training and school shooter drills. 

According to CNN, there have been 172 mass shootings as of April 23, reaching a record amount of mass shootings at this point in the year. Regardless of your political agenda, you cannot deny this issue — at least not to the 11,500 people that died from it in 2023.

So many students are outraged, afraid and frankly numb from the constant fatal shootings, myself included. You would think hearing such an act of violence would push students into some sort of disarray, but so many are desensitized because of the constant danger. However, the government has yet to take legal accountability for the complicit negligence that the lack of gun safety has brought.

The Protecting Our Kids Act, introduced by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) in June 2022, called for common sense gun laws and the restriction of firearm purchases for individuals under 21 years of age in its Statement of Administration Policy.

“The President has called on Congress to act now to reduce gun violence and save lives. This legislation would make significant progress toward delivering on that call to action,” Nadler said in the statement.

Although government officials say they want to protect children, the state government has been preoccupied with controlling my uterus and banning my transgender classmates from playing sports, both of which have no impact on the safety of children across the state.

In fact, according to an article from the Kansas Reflector, the Kansas GOP has plans to override Gov. Laura Kelly’s veto of an NRA-backed gun program for public schools. The program would encourage elementary and middle school students to participate in an NRA-developed child gun safety curriculum. The curriculum would essentially use colorful cartoons to teach “safe” gun use to students K-8. 

This further proves that students’ well-being isn’t the top priority for the Kansas government, nor state governments across the nation. Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill and Oklahoma State Sen. Nathan Dahm’s disdain towards effective gun registries are two of many examples of a political football the government has been throwing. The reality is that those issues won’t matter if students across the nation are dying from bullets in their schools. 

In an interview with comedian and political commentator Jon Stewart, Dahm said that the government has the duty to protect children, so drag shows should be banned — but not guns. He also insists that any form of security checks would violate a person’s constitutional right.

“Certain of their tools that they’re using would be infringements upon the people’s right to keep and bear arms, upon their constitutional rights, upon due process and other things,” Dahm said in the interview. 

Typically, I would try to argue the opposing side or provide some sort of alternate opinion, but in this instance, I cannot debate against my own right to live safely.

The government has been negligent on the issue of gun safety and should be held accountable. I continue to wonder how such a preventable act of violence still lives on in students’ lives. 

I ask for you to see us and how scared we are. I ask for you to hold those accountable for neglecting to protect Katherine Koonce, Cynthia Peak, Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, William Kinney, Alyssa Alhadeff, Martin Duque Anguiano, Scott Beigel, Nicholas Dworet, Jaime Guttenberg, Luke Hoyer, Cara Loughran, Gina Montalto, Joaquin Oliver, Alaina Petty, Meadow Pollack, Helena Ramsay, Alex Schachter, Carmen Schentrup, Peter Wang, Makenna Lee Elrod, Layla Salazar, Maranda Mathis, Neveah Bravo, Jose Manuel Flores Jr., Xavier Lopez, Tess Marie Mata, Rojelio Torres, Eliahna “Ellie” Amyah Garcia, Eliahna A. Torres, Annabel Guadalupe Rodriguez, Jackie Cazares, Uziyah Garcia, Jayce Carmelo Luevanos, Mite Yuleana Rodriguez, Jailah Nicole Silguero, Irma Garcia, Eva Mireles, Amerie Jo Garza, Alexandria Aniyah Rubio, Alithia Ramirez… 

Say their names, and say all of the ones that are bound to happen if we don’t fix this issue now.