Enough is enough: My generation won’t stand for this

Posted:  Sunday, February 18, 2018 - 6:45pm

I live in Camden. I go to Camden Hills Regional High School. I don’t feel unsafe (in any way) in my school. But I know there are others who do. The first mass shooting I remember was Sandy Hook, in 2012. I’m 17 now, but I still remember my mom telling me what happened at that school in Connecticut. Since, there have been hundreds of mass shootings, whether they be in our schools, parks, places of worship, entertainment venues, on the streets, etc. So many innocent people have died. Too many.

There are two things that must be talked about, and at the same time, we must take action upon.

One is this: We need gun control legislation.

I believe that our Constitution is flexible and it shouldn’t be strictly interpreted word-for-word. But, really, it’s just the right, logical, sensible, and empathetic thing that we should enact gun control legislation.

People who are terrorists, have connection with terrorists or terrorist organizations, and who are mentally ill shouldn’t be able to purchase weapons of any kind.

We MUST ban any kind of assault or military weapon from the use of citizens. Those weapons of mass destruction do not belong in the hands of civilians--especially recently, mass shooters have used these kind of weapons. Did you know that in Florida, it is easier to purchase an AR-15 than it is to purchase a handgun? Via The New York Times.

And that takes me to the second part: We need to address the severity of mental illness in this country and construct ways to combat it. A prominent reason as to why people commit mass shootings is because they have mental illnesses.

What’s so disturbing, however, is the fact that such powerful weapons, including the AR-15, are accessible to people. That must change.

But we can’t just talk and solve one of these issues, we must do both.

Any politician who fails to address mass shootings, particularly in schools (supposed places of safety), is a coward. Their lack of action is what is cowardly.

Seventeen teachers, students, and faculty died in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school shooting. Seventeen. I’m sick to my stomach. But so many people will just forget about this in a week. And it won’t be until the next mass school shooting until this debate is renewed.

This time, I hope, that won’t be true. I hope that this will be the start to finally end mass shootings.

We absolutely, without any question, have to do something, and further inaction by our growingly incapable Congress is unacceptable. The same goes for our “President.” This is not right! This is not normal! NBC News reported that 18 school shootings have occurred since January 1. This does not happen in any other country.

And you can offer your thoughts and prayers. But doing nothing more is what’s unfortunate.

Speak out and advocate and become involved to ensure that we end mass shootings.

The second amendment says we as people have “the right to bear arms,” and that that right “shall not be infringed.” But, bearing arms is different than massacring innocent lives. That is not your right. That is not a right. That is a felony. And that is humanly awful. Killing people is not the same as protecting yourself.

Taking action means caring for children. Our leaders and members of Congress can’t even do that. Cowards. This November, kick them out of office. If they can’t represent the mothers and fathers who have lost their children, or the scarred victims (many of whom are children), then they don’t deserve to represent you. 

Jackson Chadwick lives in Camden