Student Perspectives: Keeping Schools Safe From Gun Violence

Student Union hosted a forum in the Wellness Center to discuss nationwide gun violence in schools during lunch on February 7. Going in a circle and sharing their individual thoughts on the matter, students who attended explored a number of insightful topics connected to gun violence, from gun laws to how individuals were feeling personally.

Considering the ongoing gun violence in our country, some students voiced that they were concerned about their own safety here at Campo. It often seems that public school students in the U.S. live in constant fear that their own school could be the next target of gun violence.

This very reason is why Student Union hosted the forum as it is so important have conversations about school shootings. The purpose of these group discussions is for students to vocalize their fears about school shootings so we can make strides toward a future where we won’t fear for our safety at school. Student Union Adviser Molly Kerr agreed. “It’s important that students have the opportunity to talk about how they’re coping,” she said.

At the discussion, gun laws were mentioned heavily. Many agreed that the first action towards ending gun violence in schools is amending current legislation. Students argue guns today aren’t what they were when the Second Amendment was written into law. The founding fathers were talking about pistols, not machine guns.

However, freshman Madeline McLellan argued, “Guns were built into this country and it’d be very difficult to take them away.” Even so, she also agreed that our lack of gun safety regulations is out-of-hand and requires reformation.

When discussing what type of changes should be put in place, meeting facilitator senior Maggie Doolittle said, “It should be harder to get your hands on guns.”

Students present at the forum encouraged others to acknowledge their own mental state when it comes to sensitive subjects. Because we have all heard about school shootings in the news or from a friend or family member, we have adapted a sense of numbness to the violence.
Those present at the discussion noted that when we deeply analyze events like school shootings, we may let our emotions influence our opinions and conclusions. However, when we try to distance ourselves from the event and therefore become numb to it, “we don’t take any kind of proactive action to prevent future shootings,” said Kerr.

Students and teachers alike conclude that we have developed a middle ground of sad acceptance when it comes to school shootings, where we acknowledge its brutality, yet do nothing to stop it.

Once we recognize and discuss this futile cycle as a fundamental flaw in our society and country, we may finally be convinced to start enacting change for the better. Necessary group discussions such as these hosted by Student Union allow students and faculty to reflect on their own experiences, provide comfort for those still processing the violent events, come together as a community, and can spark real change at Campolindo.