School shootings, our culture’s cancer

Alejandra Antron Ramos

The MSD community comes together to mourn the loss of 17 lives


   “Great another drill,” I thought. On the other hand, maybe it would be long enough that I wouldn’t have to go to my seventh period. The bell rang, and we stayed in place. The minutes started going by. Then the hours. Literally hours.

   I remember being angry that they wouldn’t let me use the bathroom. “It’s probably just an amber alert. Why does it matter if we’re in the halls,” I remember telling my friend. 

   Then we looked at the news. ‘Active shooter in Marjory Stoneman Douglas, several casualties suspected’. My heart dropped. The school my brother used to attend, the school his girlfriend, who was like a sister to me, attends, the high school I was meant to attend. Hours later we were released and sent home. 

   “I heard 4 people died.” “I heard it was 20.” “I heard it was a teacher.” “I heard it was a robber.” As I was on the school bus surrounded by these suspicions I called my brother’s girlfriend. “Are you alive?”


   Being 12 years old when this tragedy occured deeply still affects my mental state and how I view the world. Thinking of the quickest exit route when stepping into a room. Is anyone exhibiting strange behaviors that may lead to a violent outburst? Where’s the nearest weapon? A 12 year old shouldn’t have to think like this, to live in fear. The anxiety and fear caused by school shootings, even when they aren’t nearby, is life changing, especially for a little kid.The Kid’s point of view of the world completely changes forever.  

   Dozens of school shootings happen each year, resulting in dozens (even hundreds) of deaths of innocent children and teachers. According to Everytown Research, there have been 281 mass shootings in America resulting in 1,584 deaths, and 1,084 shot and wounded since 2009. These alarming statistics would cause any ordinary individual overwhelming anxiety when going to school, where we come to learn. 

   22-year-old Miranda Melo’Vega was a senior in the last stretch of her high school career when the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas occured. Although she thankfully wasn’t in the building when the shooting took place, she still suffered. “Personally, the shooting made me very upset for a long time. It took me some time to process what had happened. It was painful and scary. Even now after four and a half years later, it is still a difficult thought…” Melo’Vega will have to deal with this traumatizing event in the back of her mind for the rest of her life. At such a young age, her innocence was taken and she was shown the true capabilities of those around her. 

   Being put in a life-threatening situation in a place that is supposed to be welcoming and inviting can be detrimental and completely change someone’s view of the world, as it has for many shooting survivors. Innocent lives should not be put at risk. The rate at which we are losing lives over something that can be fixed is simply heartbreaking. Studies have shown that America has one of the worst school shooting rates, with a whopping 37 school shootings in just 2022. 

   The fear of kids getting shot at school was almost nonexistent 25 years ago. It doesn’t have to be this way. Children don’t have to fear coming to school. Parents don’t have to fear seeing their child’s school on the news with the headline ‘School Shooting’. Communities don’t have to mourn the loss of innocent lives. I didn’t have to be afraid of being shot at at age 12. If we truly value the lives and right to safe education for the children of America, a change has to be made. 

Rest in Peace Alyssa Alhadeff, 14. Scott J. Biegel, 35. Chris Hixon, 49. Aaron Feis, 37. Jaime Guttenberg, 14. Martin Duque Anguaino, 14. Gina Montalto, 14. Nicholas Dworet, 17. Luke Hoyer, 15. Carmen Schentrup, 16. Meadow Pollack, 18. Joaquin Oliver, 17. Alaina Petty, 14. Cara Loughran, 14. Alexander Schachter, 14. Peter Wang, 15. Helena Ramsey, 17.