We will handle this Students in Florida, and the rest of the country, have been on high alert this week after a school shooting in Brevard County, Florida, killed 17.
Debates on gun control have broken out all over the country, with the fringe coming out of the shadows.. Rumors have circulated, as they did after Sandy Hook, that the shooting was a false flag attack, and that the survivors are “crisis actors” pushing an anti- gun agenda.
Controversial rockstar and conservative activist Ted Nugent reposted this conspiracy on his social media accounts, and numerous otherwise rational people have bought into this.
In addition, many have taken to mocking the survivors leading a grassroots movement for gun legislation. A photo of the teens’ emotional response to a bill to ban assault rifles being voted down made waves Wednesday morning, to which activist Dinesh D’Souza replied “Adults 1, kids 0. Worst news since their parents told them to get summer jobs.”
As is often the case, a tragedy has resulted in a national screaming match going nowhere. Debates over whether the shooter was a Republican or Democrat and the validity of the term “assault weapon” have overshadowed the victims. School shootings have become the norm in America, and those not impacted have the privilege of not caring and moving on.
The fact is, this is a purely American epidemic. An entire generation has grown up with the threat of death. The pledges that there would never be another Columbine dissipated.
Whether we are in class, at the mall, the cinema, or dining out, we are deluding ourselves if we think we’re safe.
This is your problem as much as it is the students of Brevard or Columbine or Sandy Hook.
But don’t live in fear. Be vigilant. Know what to do in case of an emergency and if you see something, say something. Check in on those around you. Make sure everyone is okay and safe. And finally, talk about solutions.
Before Columbine, school shootings were unheard of. What’s changed? Everyone has a different idea that they believe is so great, they have to shout everyone down or resort to conspiracy theories and ad hominems. It’s time we take the time to come up with a plan. Our politicians have failed us.
It’s up to the students. Together, we can close this dark chapter of our history and make the regularity of these tragic shootings a thing of the past.