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We Need More to Protect Students from Shootings than Trump's Empty Promises
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19 May 2018 04:45 PM EST

We Need More to Protect Students from Shootings than Trump's Empty Promises

 

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Children entering a schoolbus (Image source: Public domain)

 

It was only a matter of time before the country was grief-stricken by another senseless school shooting. After the shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas, Donald Trump is promising action. Do we believe him this time, or is it time to move past his unfulfilled promises and find another course of action to protect the country's children?

Yet another 10 children died in Friday's shooting at the high school. Already in 2018, with the year not even half over yet, there have been nearly 30 fatalities tied to school shootings, much more than 2017, and even more than the military so far in 2018. What kind of a country are we living in where it's more deadly to attend school than be in the military?

Trump is recognizing the need for change. Speaking at a summit for prison reform, he started out with comments about Santa Fe. "This has been going on too long in our country. Too many years, too many decades now," he said. And he's absolutely right. It has been going on too long.

"My administration is determined to do everything in our power to protect our students, secure our schools, and to keep weapons out of the hands of those who pose a threat to themselves and to others," added Trump. "Everyone must work together at every level of government to keep our children safe."

The trouble is that his words are not all that comforting. We've been down this road before. After the shooting in Parkland, he said, "No child, no teacher, should ever be in danger in an American school. No parent should ever have to fear for their sons and daughters when they kiss them goodbye in the morning."

Again, he's right. But he did nothing about it. In fact, he gave a speech at the NRA convention. He's spent time trying to fix relations with North Korea. He's spent time trying to fix things with China. He's spent time trying to keep immigrants out of the country at our borders. He's even tried to stop abortions by withdrawing federal funding from Planned Parenthood because they discuss abortion options.

But what about the children who are living in this country? When do they get help? When do they get to feel safe when they enter school every day and not have to worry that the student next to them is hiding a semi-automatic weapon in their backpack? 

The Parkland survivors have already laid the foundation. They have worked tirelessly to lobby for changes to gun control laws so that they'll feel safer and staged a national protest, yet nothing has changed. But they aren't backing down now. They hit Twitter on Friday to slam Trump for his words.

"Donald Trump does not care about school shootings. Donald Trump does nothing to stop school shootings. Don't talk to me about the 'stop school violence act' because that does nothing to stop school shootings. Donald Trump does not care about you or your kids getting shot." – Cameron Kasky

"Our children are being MURDERED, and you're treating this like a game. This is the 22nd school shooting just this year. DO SOMETHING." – Jaclyn Corin

"Get ready for two weeks of media coverage of politicians acting like they give a sh--, when in reality they just want to boost their approval ratings before midterms." – David Hogg

"Santa Fe High, you didn't deserve this. You deserve peace all your lives, not just after a tombstone saying that is put over you. You deserve more than Thoughts and Prayers, and after supporting us by walking out, we will be there to support you by raising up your voices." – Emma Gonzalez

We need to take action now to protect our children. They're the future of this country. If they are all like the Parkland survivors, the country stands a great chance. Paramount to any legislation being passed should be keeping our future safe so that we can thrive. 

Other nations have figured out the solution to this problem. Australia is often brought up, as they had a terrible mass shooting, then enacted gun control legislation immediately and have had no problems since. 

Japan is another one. Since guns were first brought to their country they have had restrictions on them. Hence, they rarely have more gun deaths each year than 10, in a country of 127 million people. 

It's so clear to many what needs to be done to keep our children safe. They have the right to learn, and they have the right to do so safely. We don't need to eliminate guns in the country, but we need some common sense laws for their use, so that everyone is safe, especially our children.

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