After the mass school shooting in Parkland, Florida a statement surfaced in our Facebook feeds. “There have been 18 school shooting so far this year”. This statement makes me feel emotional and overwhelmed. How is this possible? I haven’t heard about 18 school shooting already. This statement makes me feel so defeated. So, is this true?
The quick answer is No.
Defining a school shooting can help clear up some confusion. Everytown, an advocacy group that supports stricter gun laws defines a school shooting as “any time a firearm discharges a live round inside a school building or on a school campus or grounds”. While the definition covers a lot of ground that may seem why the number is so high. The group has had the number challenged and they did do a recount. Now the correct number is 17.
Still feeling defeated? I am.
We may not have heard about it but some of the 17 incidents include a 16-year-old student at Italy High School in Texas who opened fire with a semi-automatic handgun in the school cafeteria. The gunman wounded a fellow student who fortunately recovered.
In Arizona a 14-year-old student at Coronado Elementary School (supporting grades K-8) shot himself in the bathroom at school. The seventh grader was pronounced dead at the scene.
A disagreement between two 16-year-old students at Murphy High School in Alabama escalated when one of them pulled out a handgun. The student with the handgun fled. School administrators tried to calm him but he fired four or five times into the air. Luckily, no one was injured.
These incidents did not make it all over the news. A gun in a teenager’s hands didn’t end in multiple deaths and injuries so it was brushed under the rug.
When it comes to this problem, it doesn’t matter who you voted for. The never ending political debate needs to come to an end on this multi level problem. One solution isn’t going to end school shootings. We have to create many solutions on communication, mental health, school security and gun control to help DECREASE the tragedies.
With the most recent school shooting happened in Florida, the teen survivors from Majory Stoneman Douglas High school are taking the first step towards one solution. On March 24th they plan to “March For Our Lives” in Washington D.C. and in other communities to call for stricter gun legislation. “My message for the people in office is this: You’re either with us or against us,” Cameron Kasky, a junior at the high school and organizer demands. “We are losing our lives while the adults are playing around.”
Suddenly, these teenagers have me feeling less defeated.
Tampa Bay Mom Blog readers, I beg you. Lets not be another state that just had another mass school shooting. Let Florida be a state that starts something to help protect our children. Join our Parkland neighbors and March For Our Lives to fight for stricter gun legislation and ultimately to save children’s lives.