Never Again — Again

From Sandy Hook to Saugus, when will it end?

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Never Again — Again

After yet another school shooting, when will enough finally be enough?

After yet another school shooting, when will enough finally be enough?

Images sourced from nbclosangeles.com and edited by Julia Poppa

After yet another school shooting, when will enough finally be enough?

Images sourced from nbclosangeles.com and edited by Julia Poppa

Images sourced from nbclosangeles.com and edited by Julia Poppa

After yet another school shooting, when will enough finally be enough?

By Julia Poppa, North Allegheny Senior High School

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After Sandy Hook, the words resounded from sea to shining sea — “Never again.” Then we witnessed another 2,291 mass shootings.

Yesterday at 11 am, a shooter opened fire at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California. Two people were killed; three more were wounded. The suspect, a student from Saugus who had recently turned 16, was taken into custody and hospitalized for a self-inflicted gun wound and currently remains in critical condition.

It’s an old story now.  Americans have become desensitized to gun violence. It’s in our movies, our music, our TV shows. We see it in video games, and we see it in our own communities.

Last year, on October 27th, the Tree of Life Synagogue — a mere 30-minute drive from our high school — fell victim to an anti-Semitic shooting, and the lives of 11 worshipers were taken.

The mass shooting epidemic has banged its fists on our door, but too many of us are no longer alarmed. ”

The mass shooting epidemic has banged its fists on our door, but too many of us are no longer alarmed.  These terrible, horrific acts no longer scare or shock enough of us.

According to Everytown, there have been 85 incidents of gunfire on school or campus grounds since the beginning of 2019. Just this year, 406 people have died, and 1,480 have been wounded in a total of 366 mass shootings. There have been 2,291 shootings since the shooting at Sandy Hook in 2012, and since then 2,588 people have died, and 9,545 people have been injured. The U.S. has the most guns, the most gun deaths, and the weakest gun laws in the developed world. Yet the country goes against every grain of common sense when it comes to gun laws.

I’ve had many discussions, and heated ones at that, about gun laws in America. I’ve heard nearly every argument, too. The notion that guns don’t kill people — that instead, people kill people — is frequently discussed and debated. But the truth is that mass killings aren’t carried out with knives or homemade bombs at the same rate as they are with guns. I’ve been told that gun laws won’t end gun violence, and that they won’t eradicate the abundance guns in America. I know it won’t, and I know that there will still be guns in the homes of thousands even if gun laws are put in place. Nonetheless, countries with stricter gun laws are proven to have significantly less gun deaths.

The thoughts and prayers from our country’s top leaders and politicians do not resolve the years of pain and hurt that could be avoided through decisive and progressive action. ”

Of course, the people behind the triggers may suffer from serious psychoses, trauma, or horrible circumstances, or they may have been raised to be dangerously bigoted in ways most of us cannot imagine. But in addition to supporting programs to address those issues, stricter gun laws would make all of us safer.  After all, there are people in Japan and England, for instance, who suffer from mental illness or who have been raised to hate other groups, yet those countries witness overwhelmingly fewer mass shootings because their laws make it so difficult to obtain such weapons.

Apart from mass shootings, murder, suicide, domestic violence, and accidental gun deaths all add to the growing toll of bullet-laden bodies.  These deaths largely go unnoticed, yet they too signal an epidemic.

No amount of condolences will solve anything. The thoughts and prayers from our country’s top leaders and politicians do not resolve the years of pain and hurt that could be avoided through decisive and progressive action.

As students of NASH, we are lucky to have been unaffected by such a tragic event. We have the privilege of debating gun control as an intellectual exercise based on political standpoint alone. It might be argued that being so disconnected from the real pain has made us naive and complacent. We can only hope that the horror does not find its way here.

America has tread the despicable path from Sandy Hook to Saugus.  Will it ever end?  Will we ever prevent the death toll from growing longer?

This story was originally published on The Uproar on November 15, 2019.