The evolution of school fear: How the threats that followed generations are evolving

When our parents were our age it was bomb threats. For our grandparents, it was gas attacks but now it’s 2017 and our schools are facing a different category of threats: Shootings.
While the inescapability of bombs is no doubt petrifying, the increasing number of school shootings and the intimacy of these events make them much more personal and real.
In Spokane this past week, there was another school shooting. The shooter was a student of the high school, but his identity is being protected because he is underage. What stands out most about this specific shooting, though, is not how close to home it hits but instead the response it recieved.
A classmate of the shooter tried to talk him out of what he was doing and convince him that he shouldn’t take the lives of his innocent classmates. This student ended up getting shot at close range and killed.
Other classmates of the shooter said that he had been showing signs that he was disturbed. In school, he was known to make threats to other students, write notes and warn his friends that he was “going to do something stupid.” Several students warned their counselors, but nothing was done to prevent this horrible event.
As high school kids, we are told it is up to us to notice the signs if someone is showing destructive tendencies, toward themselves or others. We’re also told our only responsibility is to report it to an adult. The fact that multiple students did exactly this and a classmate still ended up dead is sickening. Adults want the teenagers to look out for disturbing behavior, but even when it’s obvious they don’t do anything about it and innocent lives are lost.
Now, although we may never experience a school shooting in our lives, we see videos of them. We see the aftermath: a dead math teacher, crying family members, and traumatized students. This makes it personal and real in a way that was impossible to achieve before the dawn of the internet. Making something we’ve never experienced even more terrifying.
School shootings are occurring more and more in not only high schools but elementary schools and colleges around the United States.
Quartz conducted a research project to try and figure out the ratio of school shootings from 2000 to 2010 between the United States and other countries. What they found was that 36 countries combined have one more school shooting than the U.S. over the span of those 10 years. The number of students dying in the United States is way larger than in any other country, and the question has to be asked of why.
One thing that America is well-known for is easy-access firearms. Anyone over the age of 18 could walk into a convenience store and buy a shotgun. Anyone under the age of 18 can take the gun from the drawer of their dad’s bedside table to the same effect.
In many other countries around the world – including those on the list against the United States – guns are almost completely obsolete. In Iceland, police officers don’t carry guns with them often, but at least one-third of their citizens do. In 2012, when a police officer shot and killed a man, it was the first time something like that had happened in the country ever.
There are too many stories of American kids breaking into their parents’ safes and taking their gun and either hurting themselves or hurting others. 19 kids every single day are killed or injured by a gun in America alone. While I understand that sane people should have a right to bear arms and that self defense is sometimes necessary, more restrictions need to be put in place.
At least make guns harder to access than just at your local Walmart. America cannot go on this way. Our children are dying, our teenagers are turning into killers, and our adults are doing nothing about it.