DOES IT BOTHER YOU? Mass shootings need action, not ‘thoughts and prayers’


Angry student looks at repetitive cycle of mass shootings.

By Gabrielle Kesh, Managing Editor

Does it bother you that sending ‘thoughts and prayers’ have been the most the country has done in reaction to the unending epidemic of mass shootings? In the summer of 2019, two shootings occurred in El Paso, Texas and in Dayton, Ohio in less than 24 hours. It is the same cycle every time we receive those dreaded news alerts. Social media users find their accounts overwhelmed with pictures and captions expressing peoples’ incredible sadness over the newest tragedy. Hashtags reading ‘pray’ and ‘stop violence’ continuously spread around until there’s another news story that the public gets distracted by. And then it happens again.  

The scary and disturbing truth is that nowhere is truly safe. I live with the constant fear in the back of my head that at any time and place I could be caught in the midst of a massacre. In just the year 2019, there have been 382 mass shootings in the United States. Thousands of innocent lives taken every day because we have chosen to accept mass shootings as a part of society instead of working harder to combat their existence. I have to wonder: How many times can we write ‘thoughts and prayers’ on social media before something changes? How many more parents need to get the call that they lost a child? How much more grief can the country take? 

With an upcoming election, this is an extremely relevant time to bring up this issue. Republicans and Democrats are both incredibly headstrong in supporting what they believe the right solution is. With new shootings happening every day, it is time to act on those words being spread around social media platforms. Actually stop violence. Actually think.

As a senior in high school, I know that it is the responsibility of my generation to stop the shootings now for the safety of our future. We are all sad, we are all praying, but we need to take action. Maybe the first step is to call our state representatives, to go out and protest, to propose initiatives for stricter gun laws. I don’t know exactly what the right solution is, but I know that it is unacceptable to do nothing. We can no longer stand by and watch as people are dying senselessly. It’s time for change, and that time is now.