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Students Take Action Against Gun Violence

%22By+speaking+up+we+can+actually+push+for+change%2C%22+Shen+said.+%22Writing+letters+is+something+small+yet+impactful+that+anyone+can+do%2C+and+it+shows+that+we+care.+We+want+change.%22+Photo+by+Nakita+Reidenbach
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Students Take Action Against Gun Violence

"By speaking up we can actually push for change," Shen said. "Writing letters is something small yet impactful that anyone can do, and it shows that we care. We want change." Photo by Nakita Reidenbach

"By speaking up we can actually push for change," Shen said. "Writing letters is something small yet impactful that anyone can do, and it shows that we care. We want change." Photo by Nakita Reidenbach

"By speaking up we can actually push for change," Shen said. "Writing letters is something small yet impactful that anyone can do, and it shows that we care. We want change." Photo by Nakita Reidenbach

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Junior Jing-Jing Shen led a #NeverAgain gun violence meeting on April 17 after school in social studies teacher Pam Ogilvy’s classroom.

The goal of the meeting was to educate students and raise awareness about gun violence and possible solutions. Shen encouraged students to write letters to their local representatives, including Senator Rob Portman.

Postage and pens were spread out on the tables as students voiced their concerns about gun violence.

I was inspired first by conversations I had with friends and other students following the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting,” Shen stated in an email.  “We were all shocked that another school shooting massacre had occurred, and we sought to do something about it.”

What started with conversations soon sparked into action.  Shen decided to share her thoughts and views on gun reform. She put together a document full of information about the numbers of deaths lost to guns and possible ways we can work to change those statistics.

“On average, school shootings cost the life of one child every hour, so this issue is especially relevant to our demographic,” she said. “That’s why our voices are so powerful, and by speaking up we can actually push for change. Writing letters is something small yet impactful that anyone can do, and it shows that we care. We want change.”

Many students agree.

“Politicians are kind of lazy right now. It shouldn’t be the norm that people are getting slaughtered by guns, especially not the AR-15,”  sophomore Joe Spero said.

The presentation was just a starting point for meeting attendees to get acquainted with the issue and also learn about the options we have. We need to pursue an end to the national epidemic of gun violence.”

— Junior Jing-Jing Shen

“The presentation was just a starting point for meeting attendees to get acquainted with the issue and also learn about the options we have,” Shen said.  “We need to pursue an end to the national epidemic of gun violence.”

Some students believe that tightening security measures and regulating who’s in the school might be a good place to start.

“I think politicians should regulate school safety more; maybe put metal detectors in the school, or have students use their student ID’s to get into the school,” sophomore Paisley Truitt said.

Others argue that more restrictive gun control laws should be passed.

“Gun reform is necessary. School should be a safe place; I shouldn’t have to worry about someone taking my life,” freshman Iyonna Stewart said.

Stewart believes that guns can turn violent people into mass killers.

“There are millions of people who have the same problems but they don’t go shoot up a school,” she said.

Sophomore Ryan Rosenfeld, who wasn’t at the meeting, disagrees.

It all begins with mental health and getting the mentally ill help instead of just limiting them to another statistic and letting them go through their problems alone.”

— Freshman Carrington Peavy

“Restricting guns won’t stop shootings,” he said. “There’s nothing stopping people from getting guns, because there’s places like the black market that you can still purchase firearms.”

“We can’t stop mass shootings, it’s always going to happen no matter how many background checks you do,” he added.

In addition to guns, students identified inadequate mental health care as another source of the problem.

“It all begins with mental health and getting the mentally ill help instead of just limiting them to another statistic and letting them go through their problems alone,” freshman Carrington Peavy said.

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Nakita Reidenbach, Staff Writer

Nakita Reidenbach has been writing for the Beachomber since fall of 2017. She enjoys writing about a variety of topics including sports and feature stories....

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