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Student Voices 

Local youth weigh in on gun violence, in schools and in the wider community

Page 6 of 12

Untitled Essay

By Isaac Cruz
Student at Bend Senior High School

I'm only a teenager, so I'm definitely not someone who claims to have all the answers and anyone who does is simply lying. However, I am someone who has common sense, the type of common sense that comes from being afraid to come to school, that comes from hearing about kids in your school being apprehended for planning a shooting. The common sense I have is that more guns in a school and in the hands of dangerous people is simply an insane solution.

Last year I researched, and asked teachers if they even wanted to carry a firearm in school or that more would help. The general consensus was that having more guns to counteract gun violence does not make sense, and that our school systems, and our government need to invest more in mental health initiatives rather than "hardened" schools and communities.

I'm not an adult and don't have the same views as one on this subject so I can only speak from the standpoint of a teen. And when most of us hear gun control we think one of two things: "I don't wanna be shot while trying to learn algebra!" or "You can't take my guns!" There is a way to have common ground on this subject; the simple fact is whether you're protecting yourself or hunting, you don't need a gun that could clear a room in five seconds.

This country needs meaningful, and common sense reform to our current gun laws. Laws that help a teenager like myself feel safe, and laws that still preserve the right to bear arms. I do believe you should be able to bear arms, just not weapons powerful enough for military use. People want to believe that this is taking away their rights that any minor altering of the Second Amendment is un-American. What is un-American is seeing children die in the halls of a school, watching their mothers weep on television, and still not being open to changing it.

I'm generally not a fearful person, and a year ago getting shot next to a white board was a scenario that never played out in my head. These days, however, it's a very common fear. You get this uneasy feeling in an empty hallway between shiny metal lockers hearing nothing, but slight teaching behind classroom doors. It's a feeling that makes me ask, "When will the silence be broken? Not by the sounds of classroom doors opening, and kids stomping down the hallway, but by the sound of a storm, a hail of metal flying through the air, muffled screams desperately fighting back against the unrelenting fire, and then would it go silent again? Along with me?"

It's getting harder to avoid that question, one that many students have found themselves asking, "When will it be my school?" I suppose the answer to that question is not important. It's like asking what you won before you see the lottery numbers. We won't know who gets hit til it happens; all we can know for sure is that some school will be picked and lives will be lost. Maybe not your kid's school, maybe not your kid's friend, and maybe not your town, but every person holding a textbook or pointing at a whiteboard is in danger. Now I'm a teenager, not a senator or a congressman, but by god I hope someone reading this is. Me and my fellow students have cried for change, screamed for the right to feel safe in the four walls we sit in every day. Be an American and instead of protecting your "rights" to have a person destroy, hear our screams, and protect your children's and family's lives.


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