October 1, 2015. Umpqua Community College, Oregon. 10 killed, 7 injured. Eight days later, Northern Arizona University. 1 killed, 3 injured.
Two school shootings over the course of 1-2 weeks, with a total of 11 lives lost, and 10 lives who will be completely altered, with a horrific memory forever embedded into their minds. School shootings, a topic that was never once thought about, is now sweeping the nation. As a high school student, many may be able to relate to me; lockdown drills, speeches given by authoritative figures, safety precautions, and more. But with such an epidemic rising in our country, we’re forced to wonder, “Is that enough?.”
After the Marysville-Pilchuck, and North Thurston High School shootings that occurred in my state last year, the schools in my district (possibly even other districts) have started taking matters into their own hands. Starting in the school year of 2015-2016, there has been a new policy, that in an essence, says “all doors will be locked after the last bell rings, students that are tardy must go to the attendance office first, before heading to class.” Although the new policy is hectic and takes a lot of time out, I suppose that there is no price for safety as a whole. In addition, we recently had a guest speaker, Jesus Villahermosa, Jr. who was a former S.W.A.T. team member, and is now raising awareness about crisis reality, come in and talk to us about the reality of a schoolshooting.
His powerful words and startling statistics, sent chills down my body throughout the entire presentation. If there was one I learned from the speech that I could relay on, it would be that the majority of high school shootings, are predictable. A study found that over a 25 year period, 81% of 41 shooters in 37 incidents, have told their friend of their intent to commit the act. Yet, there was no action taken after the spilled words of the foreshadowing event. We are the voice of our generation, just by speaking up, we can stop events like this from happening. It starts with us.