Hello, my name is Cody Nespor and I am the Editor-in-Chief of The Rocket. I usually do not write editorials as myself because I think it is my job, as the editor of the newspaper, to not push my own ideas or personal biases into the newspaper, however this time I want it to be personal and I want readers to know who this is coming from.
There was yet another terrible, terrible tragedy in Parkland Florida last week and it is unthinkable that we, as a nation, have allowed this to continue with no opposition. We are taught in elementary school that America is the greatest nation in the history of the world. We are told that the freedom we experience in these United States is totally unique in the history of the world. And yet, in what is supposed to be the greatest country on Earth, we cannot send our children to school without them being murdered at an unthinkable rate. How many school shootings have there been just this year alone? Some outlets say 18, some say as high as 29, the fact that, in only the second month, we have already lost count is disgusting. The greatest country in the world and yet we are apparently helpless to keep our children safe.
The fact that nothing has been done to stop school shootings disgusts me. No student should ever have to be described as a survivor. The fact that this is happening in out public school system makes me sick to the point where I cannot think straight. Student should not fell scared or unsafe going to school.
The best argument I have heard about inaction is in regard to 9/11. As a nation, we completely reexamined how airport security works and there has not been a plane highjacking since. One man tried to take a shoe bomb on a plane and now everyone has to remove their shoes at the airport. Columbine happened in 1999, Sandy Hook happened in 2012 and nothing has been done. How can we, as an ethical nation, live with the fact that absolutely no measures have been taken to defend our most vulnerable from the violence of war.
I do not know what the answer is to keep schools safe, but arming teachers is not going to work. My mother is a middle school math teacher, her job is to educate children. She is not a solider, she should not have to worry about defending her students in a firefight. I believe our goal should be to reduce the number of dangerous situations and to ensure there will be no more school shootings. Arming teachers, who cannot even get enough funding to buy school supplies, would only heighten violent situations and is reactive to stop a school shooting, not proactive in preventing it.
Assault rifles are weapons of war, they were made to be used in war and to kill people. I do not believe they have a place in a civil society. Bombs are also weapons of war, the difference is that if I build a bomb in my basement I will get arrested by the FBI but they sell assault rifles at Walmart.
There are children dead in Florida, families who have to bury a child and will be forever changed, a community that can no longer feel safe and countless other children who may be scarred for life. Watching the students of Stoneman Douglas high school talk and take action has given me so much hope for the future. It is up to us, our generation, to demand the kind of change we want to see in America. Let the victims and survivors of this tragedy lead the way and spark the fire, but it is up to all of us to keep is burning until something happens.
If you would like to join in the conversation, please feel free to send a letter to the editor to my email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cody Nespor, Editor-in-Chief