Boise Highlights

No More “Thoughts and Prayers”

Seeing the Gun Control Issue in a New Light

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No More “Thoughts and Prayers”

 The Marjory Stoneman-Douglas High School takes its place with Sandy Hook and Virginia Tech as being one of the deadliest mass shootings in American history.

The Marjory Stoneman-Douglas High School takes its place with Sandy Hook and Virginia Tech as being one of the deadliest mass shootings in American history.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

The Marjory Stoneman-Douglas High School takes its place with Sandy Hook and Virginia Tech as being one of the deadliest mass shootings in American history.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Photo Credit: Getty Images

The Marjory Stoneman-Douglas High School takes its place with Sandy Hook and Virginia Tech as being one of the deadliest mass shootings in American history.

Sofi Serio, Managing Editor

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We’ve seen it time and time again. From the Pulse Nightclub to Las Vegas, Columbine to Sandy Hook, Sutherland Springs to now Marjory Stoneman-Douglas High.

It’s like a broken record. Every time a mass shooting happens in the United States, tweets of thoughts and prayers go out, the gun debate is briefly rehabilitated with no specific action from Congress, and the shooting becomes just another statistic in a country where mass shooting sprees have become a monthly occurrence.

There are typically three major school shootings that stick out in people’s minds when they think of “school shooting.” Columbine, Sandy Hook and now Marjory Stoneman-Douglas. The difference between the three and calls for gun control are that Columbine was the first one, so it was all new and no one knew what to do.

At Sandy Hook, the kids were too young to stand up for themselves, and parent’s desperate pleas to avenge their children’s deaths through stronger gun legislation were quickly defeated by a Congress salaried by the NRA. But this time, in Parkland, something is different.

Just 3 days after the shooting, students at Marjory Stoneman-Douglas channeled their grief into anger and in a rally to prevent gun violence, many spoke up about restricting the sales of semi-automatic weapons in the United States.

Emma Gonzalez, one of the leading faces emerging out of the senseless tragedy in the fight against gun control, took a few jabs at Congress and the president in a speech she gave at the rally.

“Every single person up here today, all these people should be home, grieving. But instead we are up here standing together, because if all our government and president can do is send thoughts and prayers, then it’s time for victims to be the change that we need to see.”

With her shaven head and fierce attitude, little will shake her and fellow classmates who simply want an end to terror in the classrooms.

Students, armed with only their unwavering voices and access to a ample amount of social media, have allowed for several major US companies to cut their ties with the NRA, including Delta Air Lines and Enterprise.

They’ve also persuaded companies like Dicks Sporting Goods, L.L. Bean and Walmart to stop selling assault-style weapons and raise the age to buy a gun in those stores to 21, despite the age limits set by individual states.

As junior Claire Cruz puts it, “There is absolutely no logical reason an average Joe needs such a deadly weapon.”

And she’s completely right.

Why, after time and time again, even after grieving mothers flash across screens and the photos of school photos of children are posted on news broadcasts across the nation, do we still have a problem with guns?

Does the right for you to bear arms really outway the right for children to go to school without fearing that they might be gunned down by a mentally deranged individual?

Natalie Bramwell, a junior here at Boise High puts it in these terms. “This time the victims and all of us have grown up having lockdown drills, hearing about loved ones being gunned down because of pure hatred. People are finally fed up, especially our generation, who doesn’t want to make sure they say “I love you” to their parents before they go to a concert, church and even school.”

The problem is not the fact that Americans want to see children dying in schools, but rather a firmly held belief that the second amendment is not to be touched or infringed upon.

Claire Cruz believes that the solution is not far from our grasp. It requires some legislation on guns, but not enough that it would hurt the average American who wants a gun for protection.

“Guns are here, and here to stay, but I think it’s imperative to have stricter regulations on especially dangerous weapons such as semi-automatic weapons. I’m not saying to take guns from responsible civilians who use them for self defense, but to try and prevent assault rifles from getting into the hands mentally unstable killers.”

As Natalie puts it, “If I could talk to my representatives, I’d say they should keep the best interest of America in mind, not the next payoff from the NRA.”

But given the fact that in Idaho alone, Idaho senators Mike Crapo, James Risch and Michael Simpson have received $517,820 dollars in direct support from the NRA, it is unlikely that major gun legislation will come because of the events in Parkland.  

Nevertheless, it is clear that actions from Parkland students alone have revived a side of the gun debate never seen before in all the talk about gun reform.

Their courage to turn tragedy into triumph and make people listen to what they have to say gives my generation hope that our government will act on gun control, so that this may be the last time we ever have to talk about children being murdered in a place considered sacred and safe.

Sofi Serio, Editor-In-Chief

Sofi Serio is a senior and one of two editor-in-chiefs for the Boise Highlights staff of 2018-2019. She has been on the staff since her sophomore year,...

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No More “Thoughts and Prayers”