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COMMENTARY: Students discuss school safety

Due to recent tragedies highlighted throughout various news sources, Feather staffers ponder on controversial topics including gun control, school safety, social media sensationalizing and self-awareness. Readers are encouraged to add their opinion at the bottom of the article in the comment section at the bottom of the article. Join the discussion!

Gun Control

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Students across the nation are rallying around the victims of the Parkland Shooting in hopes to raise awareness for issues such as gun control.

According to Just Facts, roughly 16,459 murders were committed in the United States during 2016. Of these, about 11,961 or 73% were committed with firearms. These facts lead many to support gun control.

Black market
Keith Zhu, Senior
February 21, 2018

“Even if the government shuts down the gun trade, the black market will still exist. Bad people still have a way to get guns and I would rather there be more good people with guns. I know the reason why the U.S. allows gun trade, that’s when the government starts oppressing citizens, the citizens would have weapons on their hands to fight back.”

Restrictions on age limit
Andrew Rieker, Freshman
February 20, 2018

“The things that happened in Florida were terrible and I believe that changes should be made to apprehend this kind of a problem. This is not something that we like and I believe that we need to put restrictions on the age limit that allows people to buy automatic and semiautomatic weapons only until they have completed background checks and are 25 years of age.”


Guns are not the problem
Julia Fikse, Junior
February 20, 2018

“The amount of school shootings in our nation has grown so much in the past few years. It is horrible that people use guns on innocent students for no apparent reason. I personally do not think guns are the problem, but rather the people using them. Guns are just another tool people can use to harm people, just like bombs can be. Banning armed weapons will not better the situations of shootings or stop them. The only solution to this catastrophe is to increase security at schools.”

As a result of the catastrophe happening in Parkland, Florida, Feb. 14, president Donald Trump considers raising the purchase age for certain firearms. A 19-year-old is accused of killing 17 teachers and students with an AR-15 rifle. Numerous students, parents and community members mourn the losses.

Bad people will always find a way
Kaylie Clem, Junior
February 20, 2018

“More and more often we hear about school shootings on the news, and every time it happens it is still so shocking. I think that the people behind the guns are to blame. It isn’t the machinery that chooses to harm and kill people, it’s the hands controlling it. There are plenty other harmful things that are illegal, but that doesn’t stop people from using them. Banning guns will not really make a difference because the people that want to do bad things will do them anyway.”

Change needs to happen
Alexander Rurik, Junior
February 20, 2018

“We’ve seen so many tragedies in the news over the last few months especially. Something needs to happen and there has to be change somewhere. I don’t think guns are the problem and American citizens should still own the right to bear arms, but there needs to be a serious change regarding who and how firearms can be obtained. Evil people will find a way to accomplish the terror they wish to employ, but we need to make it as difficult as possible for them to do what they want. Even arming teachers and campuses should be taken into consideration. Something needs to be done.”

Mental and personal problem
Blake Deffenbacher, Sophomore
February 16, 2018

“Whenever a shooting or tragic event happens, the question of gun control comes up. Many questions arise and stirred up a lot of controversies. Personally, I don’t believe that it’s a gun problem, I see it as a mental and personal problem. The guns aren’t killing people, people are killing people. Instead of banning guns, we need to be more conscious about the black market gun industry. A law won’t stop a terrorist from getting a gun, we need to focus more on stopping the illegal purchase and trade of weapons and not banning the sale of guns altogether.”


School Safety

Arming teachers is a possible solution
Matthew Sue, Senior
February 20, 2018

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Students protest in order to raise awareness for gun control. The nation is currently divided over the issue and many do not wish to give up their 2nd Amendment rights.

“I believe that arming teachers is a possible solution to the mass shooting epidemic. It would allow a lightning fast response to possible shooter situations and could save lives. However, I also feel that this is not a good idea for several reasons. First teachers are not security guards and do not necessarily know how to how to properly use firearms. Second teachers are teachers, not guards, it’s not part of their job description. I think that a better solution to this would be on campus security jobs who are specifically trained to handle situations like this.”

Schools should be able to fight back
Harjot Singh Chhina, Junior
February 17, 2018

“In times like these, I think that having armed guards or safe are crucial things that schools should have. We can’t sit and watch as armed people come into school campuses and gun down defenseless people. If someone is armed and on campus, schools should be able to fight back and deal with the threat or at least handle it until the police get involved. America needs to resolve this issue, fast, or more shootings will take place and innocent lives gone. The number will continue to increase until something is done to prevent it.”

Armed guards on campus
Mariana Fikse, Senior
February 16, 2018

“I personally think we should have armed guards on campuses now. It’s unfortunate that our nation has come to the point that we are not even safe in our own schools anymore, but that doesn’t mean we should just sit back and feel sorry for ourselves. We need to take action and place people on campuses that will protect us. Also, making schools a ‘gun free’ zone doesn’t discourage the bad guys from bringing guns on campus.”

A constant cycle that must be dealt with
Cate Vander Kooi, Senior
February 16, 2018

“It seems like every month there is a new story on the news about a school shooting or some sort of mass murder. This isn’t something that should be taken lightly. People flood Twitter and social media, actively calling for a change but then do nothing. People forget, and the hype dies down until a similar event happens. It’s a constant cycle. Sufficient change needs to occur, which is why I believe there needs to be more awareness and campus security. There has to be some sort of system to deal with situations like these, whether that means having security guards on campus or leaving classroom doors locked. The situation must be dealt with.”


Social Media Sensationalizing

Social media used for the positive and negative
Logan Lewis, Sophomore
February 20, 2018

“When an extreme event happens like this, everyone becomes their own news reporter, especially on Twitter. I see arguments and corrals over issues, and it saddens me. We are all humans, and we must come together. I see a lot of good on social media as well. Through Twitter, I have seen global support for one another. It truly is special when the world can come together through social media, but it’s disgusting when it causes conflict.”

Social media has real effects
Juliana Lozano, Senior
February 20, 2018

“Social media provides a chance for copycats. Once someone does one thing, it blows up quickly and moves from person to person in seconds. The way that shootings have been happening so frequently even in this year, really does show the power that the internet and social media has. Our voices are more powerful than we think.”

What we see on our screens may not be accurate
Braden Bell, Sophomore
February 19, 2018

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Students take part in a protest after the Parkland Shooting.

“Social media these days is one of the most influential parts of teens lives. Posts on platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter can be almost instant. News travels fast, and what we see on our screens may not always be accurate. People thrive on the juiciest and most shocking stories and that’s exactly what the reporters and producers use to draw in our attention. Writers exaggerate their stories just to make it more appealing. Something important to keep in mind when coming up with your own opinions is that what you are watching or listening to could have been altered to fit a certain perspective.”  

Opposing belief spark frustration
Bryce Foshee, Freshman
February 16, 2018

“I feel terrible each time I hear news of a school shooting, but reading Twitter the day after makes me more depressed. It seems each person is completely and permanently convinced their opinion is right and everyone else is wrong. Isn’t this polarization and anger the reason mass shootings happen in the first place? I can’t claim to know the shooter’s reasons, but I’d bet he had fully convinced himself it was okay to kill people. Obviously not every celebrity, politician or victim who tweets angry or emphatic comments is mentally unstable enough to become a serial killer, but if prideful beliefs are the cause of violence, then prideful opinions won’t stop it.”


Pick your head up and speak out
Carston Saelzler, Freshman
February 20, 2018

“The world is not a safe place. It is full of people with evil hearts and minds who seek destruction for others. But a huge part of that is self-awareness. There are also people who are willing to help each other out. If only people would take their heads out of their phones and look around and not be afraid to speak out when they see danger; tons of our world issues would be solved.”

Be aware of the feelings of those around us
Addison Schultz, Freshman
February 19, 2018

“Awareness is such a valuable thing in the world today. With constant tragedies like school shootings, I think it’s important to be aware of the world around us. Shootings don’t just happen randomly. They start with a person that is truly hurting. Being aware of the feelings and actions of those around us can help to prevent more hurt people and show when we as students need to bring something to light.”

Women especially must be aware
Bethany Pouliot, Junior
February 16, 2018

“For women specifically, being self-aware is extremely important. There are so many risk factors in today’s day and age. There have been times where I have been chased by cars with creepy men and it is very frightening. I have made a pact with myself to never go out in public places by myself where I am vulnerable including gas stations or quick runs to the store. There are many cases of sex trafficking and it’s local and most people don’t realize that. It’s a sensitive and uncomfortable subject, but it’s a very real issue.”

We are glued to our phones
Toryn Triplitt, Sophomore
February 16, 2018

“We live in a time where we are constantly distracted. Our phones have become glued to our hands and at times we can’t seem to take out eyes off of them. It’s a lot easier than I’d like to believe for people to attack, or even take advantage of us. Being aware in any social setting and even on social media for signs is so extremely important. Catching the signs could maybe even lead to the prevention of these attacks.”

Knowledge of the situation at hand
Vijay Stephen, Freshman
February 16, 2018

“Self-awareness is very important especially now. With all the problems that are happening around us, we can’t pretend to be blind and ignore them. There are so many shootings that are going on it’s impossible not to be affected. Even if we think that all these things are happening outside of our bubble, it still affects us. It is important to understanding what is happening in the world around us so that we can formulate our own opinions.”

In light of recent tragedies, please leave a comment down below with your thoughts and opinions.

For more join the discussions, read Join the discussion: Life choices define character and Join the discussion: Christmas break.

The author can be reached via email: Braden BellInstagram and Twitter.

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