Senior at Sartell High School
This past Valentine’s Day, on Feb. 14, 17 staff and students were brutally named the victims of our country’s latest school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Although the area is distant from our suburban community, this heartbreaking tragedy affects our families and students here. In the first 46 days of 2018, 21 staff and students across the United States have been fatally murdered due to gun violence on school property.
Three of the top 10 most deadly mass shootings in the United States have occurred in the last five months. The terrifying mass shootings that have occurred recently account for only a fraction of gun-related casualties, but are particularly frightening because they happen without warning and dozens of lives are lost within seconds of chaos. The victims who are slain are chosen not for any reason but for where they unfortunately happen to be. Since Aug. 1, 1966, 1,077 lives have been lost due to mass shootings (excluding robberies, domestic crimes and gang violence) in the United States. Valuable citizens from the unborn to the elderly have suffered fatalities and casualties.
Across the 41 states involved, including Minnesota, 176 victims were children and teenagers. This issue needs to stop. These horrible deaths come at the cost of no particular person other than the accused shooters themselves. The arguments between political and mental-health beliefs need to stop. This is not a tragedy at the specific fault of our president, and this is not a crime at the ability to hold blame.
We, as citizens of the United States, need to come together and find a solution. We need to provide unity, safety, care and kindness toward one another, especially for our children and students. The lives of kids, teens, adults and those of all ages in between are being stolen from us. There are grieving families, friends and communities that remain brokenhearted and inconsolable from the losses they have suffered.
With all that surrounds us in our hard-enough lives today, it becomes easy and comfortable to show ignorance towards these mass tragedies. It’s hard to empathize with situations that are so unbearably unimaginable. However, it is important to stay informed and provide togetherness for all those around you.
As a student in our community, I hope our area, our state and our country, never faces a tragedy like this again. Dozens of staff and students here in Sartell and the surrounding St. Cloud areas have been shaken and distraught by the number of shootings that have already occurred in the United States during 2018.
This issue affects everyone. Please show compassion as we come together to find a solution to end mass shootings. The arguments are not worth it – all that matters is we must be unified through humanity alone. Be there for one another with benevolence not violence.