The Not-So-New Normal

It would be an understatement to say that I am tired of hearing the news that there has been yet another school shooting in this country. Hearing that a gun was found in a kid’s backpack when they were searched after getting into a fight has become far too normal. Yet we still go on as if we couldn’t care less about the lives of students and staff at schools across the nation. 

Not too long ago, the unthinkable happened to another school, this time in Oxford, Michigan. As if the “unthinkable” was still unthinkable. A 15-year-old was able to get into the school with a loaded gun even with a plethora of warning signs. And four more innocent lives were taken far too soon. And yet everything is still business as usual. 

I don’t want to give attention to the shooter, but I would like to point out a few things that have to do with him. This kid is 15 years old. He is my age. He displayed many warning signs leading up to the shooting. He was even sent back to class after a teacher reported his suspicious behavior to the administration the very same day that the shooting happened. My point is that anyone with access to a deadly weapon and malicious intentions is capable of carrying out such an atrocity, and ignoring any warning signs until after it has happened is not an effective way of dealing with these kinds of situations. This should not be possible. It should not be possible for anyone to get anywhere near a school of all places with a weapon that could kill. 

Unfortunately gaining access to deadly weapons is very easy in this country. It doesn’t matter whether a state, county, or city is run by a certain political group. This still happens everywhere. The fact that someone could get their hands on something so dangerous before the rational decision-making part of their brains is fully developed and without a comprehensive background check is appalling to me. There have been many studies conducted that suggest that the rational decision-making part of the brain does not fully develop until age 25, if it does at all. This also lines up with the fact that the vast majority of people who carry out school shootings are under 25. In saying this, I do not mean to say that all people under 25 who own guns have bad intentions with them. However, I do think that anybody, regardless of age, but especially younger people, should at least have to go through some sort of psychological evaluation before being able to purchase any weapon that has the potential to kill or seriously injure the user or other people. While most people who have guns are not using them to bring harm to other people, the number of people that are using them to harm people is far too high. 

The fact that policy-makers are still turning a blind eye to this issue is also concerning, and they have been doing this since before the Columbine shooting of 1999. Over 20 years of not doing anything to promote the wellbeing of the group of people that they claim to care about the most: children. The way that a society views the lives of children says a lot about them. The fact that I am writing this shows how low we have dropped as a society. We cannot even do the bare minimum to keep literal children safe in a place that they should feel safest. 

I believe that policy-makers should be responsible for this. It should not be the responsibility of high-schoolers and younger students to have to fight for our lives like this. All we want to do is get an education and achieve our dreams in the future. And yet for far too many, the achievement of these dreams were cut short. Every death in a school shooting could have been prevented. And it would be very helpful to ending this if policymakers would take effective action immediately. If they do truly care about us as children, then they would be giving 110% of their effort into protecting us. 

I don’t think that finding a solution to this problem will be the easiest task given the damage that has already been done. Many weapons are already in the hands of the wrong people, and for some cases, it will be impossible to take them away from these people. However, it is not and should not be my responsibility or the responsibility of any other person like me to find a solution. We have policy-makers for a reason. This is not me saying that I am not willing to help in any capacity with this, but I am a 15-year-old high school student who is simply trying to get an education. High school students are not equipped to be policy-makers and we should not be expected to be able to come up with practical solutions that would work on city, county, state, and national levels. That is the whole point of the existence of policy-makers and the age minimums that come with the job. We have no political power. Most of us cannot vote. Therefore we rely on the people who do have the power to enact change to do so. 

We are counting on policymakers to make a change. We don’t have the power to make these changes if it is not recognized that changes need to be made. We essentially do not have the power to save our own lives. Politicians who choose to turn a blind eye to this are not only failing themselves, but they are failing all of us who are depending on them for our chances of surviving to adulthood.


Mayor: Frank Scott Jr:

Email – [email protected]

Phone – (501)-371-4744



John Boozman:

Tom Cotton:

Phone: (501)-223-9081


French Hill:

Arkansas State Legislators List: