“I don’t want prayers. I want gun control.”
Imagine yourself sitting in a classroom, studying some boring and informative piece of history, just counting down the minutes. You’re rotating your pencil on your fingertips, thinking about going home, when suddenly *BANG *
You drop the pencil. There’s a body in a pool of blood. Wait. That’s your teacher. What? What just-? *BANG* There goes your favourite friend. You can’t hear. There’s ringing in your ears. Your legs are shaking. You can’t move but you’re trying. You fall to the ground and crawl. There are legs and shoes and stomping all around you. You’re scared. You hear screams. You look to your left and a person is crying. There are shots fired-you know that-but where? You can’t think. Its all too fast.
Get out. Get out. Get out.
How do I get out?
Annually, nearly 2,900 children and teens (ages 0 to 19) are shot and killed, and nearly 15,600 are shot and injured. The effects of gun violence reach far beyond the physical agony caused by bullets. It shapes the mindsets of kids who have lived through the trauma of being shot, witnessed it or even lost a loved one. Once a school shooting takes place, not only does the shock of that day stay but the grief affects everyone in different ways. You could say that it indirectly shapes the lives of all those present when those bullets were shot. Academic decline, therapists for trauma relief, evident behavioural changes, depression, etc. are all examples of what kids deal with once they live through the incident.
Threat assessment programs have been introduced in many schools to help them assess and identify the students who could be potential threats and, thereon, provide these kids with the help they might need.
Now, gun violence is also extremely common in middle class households. Statistically speaking, children are frequent casualties of domestic violence homicides when guns are involved. It’s not easy. It never is. For this purpose, youth-centric intervention programs do also exist to help kids to cope with witnessing firearm violence. Of course, not everyone voices the truth. Some undergo firearm violence and then lie about it to doctors and friends. This is not cowardice- as some of you may think- but for them, it’s survival.
So, not only for the sake of those who are kept shut by firearm violence, but also for those who suffer from past traumatic episodes, comprehensive gun safety laws are and should be actively encouraged in every state in every country.
Don’t get me wrong, there are NO countries with no gun laws in the world but there are countries that are extremely lenient when it comes to gun safety laws. At the end of the day, the smallest detail could have the greatest impact.