Hello, I am a Freshman in high school and like most kids at school, I go every day with the biggest worry being a test or maybe a homework that I was confused about. Instead, I am starting to worry more and more about gun violence. Now after the events that took place in Parkland Florida, I was shocked and worried. I worry about the school I love and for my friends who mean the world to me. I worry because I know that with the gun laws in our country currently, there is so much worry. What stops something from happening in Parkland from happening in Grandville or Hudsonville, or Holland, or any of the schools that we all have friends in.
People that lived in Parkland weren’t the only ones to get a warning, because as a country we all have. We still do. Every day I hear about violence that could have easily been prevented by taking guns out of the hands of people who don’t need to enforce the law.
I was raised outside of Chicago in a town called Bolingbrook. The streets were littered with gang violence. Across the road from my house, we had a police standoff happen one night. It was a dangerous place at times, I loved it but it scared me to be in a school that was so massive and so full of kids that could very well come from dangerous backgrounds. Their high school has resorted to making a security guard accompany a student out of the halls at all times. This means that any person who needs to use the restroom, or maybe even to the nurse, must have an adult that walks with them. It may take 10 minutes or more for someone to come. Which was one of the reasons why my family and I relocated to the safe and quiet Grandville.
I was promised safety just like every other student should be. However, the fact that a teenager can get their hands on an automatic weapon scares me. The Parkland shooter received his weapons legally, and once there was a time when the average person needed to get their hands on something that could protect them from danger. However, we don’t live in that world anymore. We live in a world that consists of people going to work in air-conditioned buildings instead of the outdoors and children are given computers instead of slate chalkboards. Everything needs to be updated once and a while, even laws.
A few weeks ago students from my school organized a walk out. I decided not to leave class, for a few reasons. Not one of them was because I didn’t feel strongly about the issues that they were protesting. I chose to stay in class because I didn’t want people to think I was skipping because I just didn’t want to stay in class. This is how I am protesting, by writing this letter. I thoroughly believe that unless we, as a nation don’t change, then every innocent student will be put at risk.
I do not believe that the average person needs a military grade weapon. Now that is not to say that someone should not be able to own a gun for hunting. I understand hunting is a sport, especially in Michigan. However, regulations and background checks need to be updated before that. Until then though, guns are dangerous and only the military should have access to machine guns and other automatic weapons.
Thank you for your time and I hope to hear from you soon. From Isabelle B.