The biggest scandal that ever happened at my high school while I was there was the infamous “phantom pooper” incident, in which someone repeatedly wrote on the walls of the bathrooms with their own fecal matter. Some people are just natural-born anarchists. The perp was never discovered, and I stopped shaking hands at biannual schoolwide Masses soon after that.
But as disgusting as that was, I was actually pretty lucky for it to have been the worst thing to happen at my school.
As I keep up with the news out of Parkland, Fla., regarding the latest school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, I keep finding my myself thinking, “Can both sides start agreeing on something?” Really, let’s just all agree that whatever is currently being done about the issue is failing. I think that’s obvious common ground we can build upon.
Not that they’re any more senseless than the other types of mass shootings we’ve seen in just the past six months, but the saddest thing about school shootings is that the students have little to no say in the issue and they have to suffer. It’s been alarmingly routine for years now. The adults and politicians are the ones completely failing these kids.
It’s been five years since the Sandy Hook shooting and nearly 20 since Columbine, so I’m getting tired of hearing about how we should be careful not to “act on our emotions” and make “knee-jerk reactions” regarding a solution. There’s been plenty of time to discuss this and work toward a solution, and tragedies like this have only become more commonplace.
But with that being said, I still don’t know what I’d do if it were up to me. Many people from both sides would be able to debate circles around me no matter what I chose to do.
My family and I are not gun owners, but I know several people who do own guns and they’re good people. I absolutely support their right, as well as my own, to own a gun, whether it be for self-defense or for sport. But some of the solutions proposed by the “pro-automatic-rifle” community, I guess you could say, aren’t making a lot of sense to me.
Adding metal detectors and increased security to high schools seems like a reasonable next step, sure. But you also want teachers to be armed? So that public schools turn into the Wild West, and any potential school shooting turns into the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral? I mean, come on guys.
I can’t see this doing anything but exacerbating the situation, considering teachers are there to teach, not to double as Rambo. What happens when one of them becomes the next school shooter, anyway?
At the end of the day, it just feels like every time a tragedy like this happens, parts of the gun-owning community use it as a political opportunity to puff their chests out and give the whole “from my cold, dead hands” speech — making “gun owners” as a whole look bad and uncooperative — while the anti-gun, pro-increased-gun-control, however-you-want-to-put-it community either proposes an impractical solution or can’t unify under a coherent one.
So, I’m not writing this to give a suggestion. I at least think there needs to be a little more collaboration and fewer chests being puffed out.
But I also realize that there’s an unlikely chance of that happening, and because of that, if I weren’t a senior, I’d probably have an opportunity to write this same column a few more times.