They Know Where We Are: Stop Hiding Behind The Second Amendment


The reality of living in the United States is that students have to face gun violence every day and something needs to change.

Gabby Comer, Editor-in-Chief

The United States has a problem. 

Daily, there is at least one mass shooting, many on school campuses. 

Only 21 states require universal background checks when buying a gun.

This year, there have been over 160 mass shootings in the United States.  

According to the Washington Post, since the Columbine school shooting in 1999, over 349,000 kids have been affected by gun violence at their schools. 

Every day, parents drop off their kids, and students and teachers walk into school with a very real fear of never coming home. Of course, Americans don’t think about it on a daily basis. We always think, oh it won’t happen to me. That is Nashville’s problem or that is a private school problem, but it is happening all across the country. Kids are getting shot in nice neighborhoods, poor neighborhoods, and public, and private schools. 

American schools are running out of ways to protect students. Everyone knows how a Lockdown works, so how should students and teachers feel safe with this protocol? The shooter knows we’re not gone. He knows we are all sitting up against the wall in the dark. He knows where to find us.

Students and teachers feel very unheard and like no one cares about them because Republicans, hiding behind the Second Amendment and funding from the NRA (National Riffle Association), only send their thoughts and prayers, instead of actually putting legislation in place to help protect them. 

For years the NRA has fed scared gun owners the lie that their guns will be taken away if Universal Background checks are added when buying a gun. They also tell them the lie that school shootings are not because of gun access, but because of mental health issues. While these issues may be a part of it, nothing is changing. Kids and teachers are still dying while Republican leaders and the NRA sit and watch. 

Thomas Jefferson once said “I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and Constitutions. But laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times.” 

The Constitution was meant to change and adapt. Its own writer said that he wanted to evolve with the times, so it is absolutely absurd that the National Rifle Association refuses to acknowledge a problem because the Constitution says we can have guns and that’s that.         

It is absolutely absurd that the National Rifle Association is refusing to acknowledge a problem because the Constitution says we can have guns and that’s that.

Do they really think our Founding Fathers would be okay that innocent people and children are dying every day because of a law they wrote 236 years ago? 

Possible Solutions To Keep Schools Safe 

While we all wait for Congress to get their heads out of the sand, and pass legislation that actually keeps schools safe, there are measures that schools can take to keep students safe. 

Recently at Verrado High School, we added new metal detectors after several school shooting threats and scares. This is making most students feel safer. “I am proud that they are actually doing something to keep us safe for once,” says student Samantha Tennyson.  

Another student Dannia Duarte. “I feel safer with the security. I think there is still a chance that someone could get in, but it is small because they know it is being taken seriously.” 

Some students, however, still don’t feel that much safer. According to a Verrado student Yakira Wade, “I don’t feel safer because I think it is just for show, and I don’t think it is actually that much safer.” 

Also, only schools with good funding would be able to afford the metal detectors, extra locks, or extra security guards. Until legislation is passed, it becomes a battle of money. Those with the most money are the safest going to school. 

Even when schools can improve the protocols, shootings still happen. Not to mention many students and parents don’t feel completely safe going to school even with improvements.  Do we really want to live in a world where money determines how many bodies and security measures are in between an innocent child and death?

People should still be allowed to have guns for sports and protection if they so choose, but we need to make sure we keep guns out of the hands of those who will use them to kill innocent people. 

Students have started staging walkouts and protests about guns, and more and more people are waking up to the fact that we have a gigantic problem. The question is when is something actually going to change? 

On June 8th, Congress passed a law closing the boyfriend loophole after the Uvalde shooting in my home state of Texas, but shortly after the Supreme Court went and banned states from banning guns saying that it was unconstitutional. It’s time we put laws with stricter protocols for owning a gun in place to keep schools safe.