Image: NY Daily News

17 dead after 18th school shooting of the 2018

By Bryan Ramos


t happened again. Innocent lives lost at the hand of senseless gun-violence. The 18th school shooting of the year, just 45 days in. Don’t worry though, thoughts and prayers are rolling in from all over the nation, which is always followed by inaction from congress, then the soul-crushing cycle repeats itself all over again…and again…and again.

It’s heartbreaking that this has become the norm in the United States. The Columbine shooting happened when I was in fifth grade. Since then, there have been 208 school shootings.

As a student for much of the last 20 years, this threat has become the regular at schools of  every level across the country. Students shouldn’t have to spend the school day looking over their shoulder, wondering if, when, something could pop off.

No child should have to send their parent text messages like these.

Imagine having to type that text to your mother or father. Now, imagine being a parent receiving that text from your child. Now, please tell me how the right to bear arms is more important than the pain and suffering of what is now countless parents across America who’ve said bye to their child when they left for school but never saw them return.

I’ve seen people say “now isn’t the time to discuss politics.” When is the time to discuss this problem plaguing our country, our schools, our streets? Is it after the next shooting? Or the next? Or the one after that?

If not now, when? How many innocent lives must be lost in schools, at concerts, in theaters, in church for christ sake, before something changes?

I’ve seen defenders of the Second Amendment put the blame on kids, on their parents, on the “politically correct culture”, on mental illness, and push to arm teachers.

Nobody is coming after you, law-abiding gun owner. People are asking for stricter gun-control, especially when it comes to semi-automatic or automatic weapons. It shouldn’t be more difficult to purchase Sudafed than a fucking AR-15 similar to what the military uses.

I understand your love to hunt. I understand it’s written in the constitution, protected by the Second Amendment.

I also understand that when the Second Amendment was created in 1791, people were armed with muskets, not semi-automatic and automatic guns like the ones used to murder innocent lives in schools.

And when the National Rifle Association is handing large amounts of money to members of Congress, it’s easy to see where the root of the problem lies.

The NRA has lined the pockets of politicians for years, including spending at least $30 million backing President Trump in the 2016 election. I’m sure that money was given out of the kindness of their gun-toting hearts and not at all because they expect something in return.

“So let me make a simple promise to every one of the freedom-loving Americans in the audience today:  As your President, I will never, ever infringe on the right of the people to keep and bear arms. And to the NRA, I can proudly say I will never, ever let you down,” said Trump when speaking at the NRA’s annual gathering in April 2017, the same NRA who has gone Twitter silent since the shooting in Florida.

Many claim this is an issue of mental health and more should be done to prevent this from happening. After the Sandy Hook shooting in 2013, President Barack Obama did so by creating a gun-check regulation that would add 75,000 to 85,000 people with severe mental disabilities to the FBI’s National Criminal Background Check System.

Guess who overturned the Obama-era regulation in February of 2017? Trump.

Take another guess as to whose budget proposal would slash funding for the National Institute of Mental Health from $1.6 billion in the 2017 fiscal year to $1.1 billion in 2019 – a reduction of over 30 percent. Yup, you guessed it, him again.

So, what’s next? What’s after all the empty thoughts and prayers to the families who lost loved ones from lawmakers who accept money from the NRA and refuse to change anything?

The country should all be behind the kids and families from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who are calling for change, the same kids who are a day removed from seeing their classmates, teachers and coaches massacred.

The time for change is now.

Rest in Peace to the lost ones:

Alyssa Alhadeff, 14

Scott Beigel, 35

Martin Duque Anguiano, 14 

Nicholas Dworet, 17

Aaron Feis, 37

Jaime Guttenberg, 14

Christopher Hixon, 49

Luke Hoyer, 15

Cara Loughran, 14

Gina Montalto, 14

Joaquin “Guac” Oliver, 17

Alaina Petty, 14

Meadow Pollack, 18

Helena Ramsay, 17

Alex Schachter, 14

Carmen Schentrup, 16

Peter Wang, 15



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