By Cristina Davis ’18, News Editor
Death, occasionally, is a thought which lingers in the minds of most individuals. It is inevitable, yet assumed to come at some natural, unknown time in a person’s life. However, death is not something the average high school teenager expects to encounter while attending school. More than that, there is no high schooler who anticipates being murdered by a fellow classmate.
Last month, on February 14, that unfortunate nightmare came true for several members of the student body and faculty of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. A total of 17 students and teachers were brutally gunned down by a former student of the high school, Nikolas Cruz. In addition, other individuals of the school were wounded as they attempted to flee the frenzied rage of Cruz. During this tense period, several videos and photos were posted on social media depicting the bloodshed of the entire shooting. Furthermore, heartbreaking text messages were sent between students and family members as they expressed their last feelings of love to them.
Following this disturbing event, several outraged and distressed families and students spoke out about the blatant issue of the gunman having such easy access to the weapons he used during the shooting. Specifically, many have questioned the lack of strict restrictions on current gun laws present in the United States that permit a citizen to acquire such weapons. Many students fear that without such laws, events such as the Stoneman shooting will continue to be a viable threat within every school of the United States. Now, more than ever, students are plagued with the frightening idea of being killed by fellow classmates, and they question how they will be affected in such an unpredictable, terrifying situation.
In an attempt to change this, students nationwide have initiated both digital and actual protests directed toward the government against gun violence. Specifically, numerous online hashtags, such as #gunreformnow, have been trending on social media in addition to the March 14 protest created by students that place an emphasis on the need to change current gun laws.
At Immaculate Heart, students have joined the mutual fear and protest of gun laws. Students have expressed the sense of panic and anxiety they now feel as they attend school. One freshman questioned, “If no one could stop Cruz knowing his intent to kill, how will other dangerous people be stopped?” Another 9th grade student stated, “It is terrifying to think I may spend my last moments at school, miles away from those I love.”
In an effort to combat this terror, students at Immaculate Heart have chosen to promote movements, such as the March 14th student-led walkout, that seek to put a definite end to gun violence. Some have even encouraged students to reach out to their respective political representatives to voice their opinions on the matter.
As proclaimed by one junior on campus, “It is our generation which has the power to change what affects us.” Ultimately, it will be the righteous, powerful students such as those of Stoneman High and Immaculate Heart that will spearhead movements which will bring a significant change for all future generations of students in America.
photo from Annie Taylor