Thoughts and Prayers

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Thoughts and Prayers

Lauren Carvalho, Staff Writer

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“No thoughts, no prayers, can bring back what’s no longer there. The silent, are damned, the body count is on your head.”  Thoughts and Prayers by Grandson blasts through my headphones, and I pondered the heavy lyrics and somber message.  

Now, in general, I don’t have an issue when someone tells me they own a hunting rifle or enjoy spending an afternoon at the shooting range with family or friends. I also do not believe that abolishing the Second Amendment is going to fix the shooting epidemic; it would likely start some type of civil war. So what exactly is the problem with guns in America?

When researching gun deaths in America, I stumbled across a CBS News article by  Jason Silverstein. Evidently, there have been more mass shootings this year in the United States than there have been days in the year. According to the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive, as of September 1, “which was the 244th day of the year, there have been 283 mass shootings.” So far, there have been 37,662 mass shootings with 9,932 fatalities and 19,898 injuries since the beginning of 2019. This is the highest number of mass shootings since 2016. 

Those fighting to protect the Second Amendment and refusing to support gun control believe in the right to bear arms, that it is their given right to protect themselves and their families from unwarranted attacks. 

Our country is filled with violence and domestic terrorism, and guns can provide a certain illusion of safety. But according to my own, “leftest-skewed” math: retaliating against violence ✕ violence = unnecessary shootings and untimely deaths. 

A chilling frame from the Sandy Hook Promise back to school ad shows the impact of gun violence on young students and forces the audience to confront the brutal reality of the mass shooting crisis. Via Sandy Hook Promise.

The Sandy Hook Promise has just released a heart-wrenching, disturbing, can’t – tear-your-eyes-away ‘Back to School’ ad. The ad is direct and to the point, making viewers feel uncomfortable and horrified. The ad starts off in a bright tone, and a boy proudly claims, “These sneakers are just what I need for the new year,” as he runs down a hallway. Taking a darker turn, a girl announces, “These new socks, they can be a real lifesaver,” as she uses the sock as a tourniquet on her classmate who had been injured. The ad ends with a girl crying in a dark bathroom writing a text saying “I love you mom” as she is choked with tears. She whispers, “I finally got my own phone to stay in touch with my mom.”

At the end of the ad, two sentences fan out across the screen: “It’s back to school time and you know what that means. Schools shootings are preventable when you know the signs.” My blood chilled. 

To get some insight into whether the National Rifle Association is doing anything to prevent these tragedies, I visited their website. One of the first things I notice is a chilling article: “The Myth Of The Mass Shooting Epidemic.” I then shifted my attention to what could prevent these tragedies. When researching how we can prevent school shootings, I found “How to stop shootings in America: 10 proposed strategies,” and my curiosity was piqued. Experts who have conducted these studies proposed that an assault weapons ban, high-capacity ban, universal background checks, and gun violence restraining orders would be an effective solution to this issue, whereas arming teachers, performing active shooter drills, and banning violent video games were considered ineffective. 

After attending a medical program this summer, I was taught how to pack deep wounds, as most victims of physical trauma bleed out before help can reach them. My first thoughts drifted towards school shootings, and how I have a skill that I may have to use in the future. I felt plagued by irrational rationality, as I know that Boulder High is a safe school. It’s terrifying when as someone from as young as a first grader to as old as a senior in high school has to question their safety when they are obligated to attend an educational institution, wonder where the nearest exit is out of a classroom, or where to hide should something happen. After talking to some anonymous students at Boulder High, there was a reoccurring theme of hysteria or subconsciously worrying about a potential threat, especially with a gun shop only a couple blocks away. 

The storefront of Gunsport Boulder, a gun shop located across the street from Boulder High around 14th and Arapahoe. Many students have expressed discomfort with the store’s location being so close to the campus. Image via the Daily Camera.

It’s time for America to wake up. Politicians will stare at you vacantly through your screen as they “console” the victims and their families through “thoughts and prayers,” but it is time for us to force them to take action to prevent these tragedies. We must come together as a country and push aside our political views and face the cold, heartbreaking facts. There have been more mass shootings than days this year. Students are scared to attend school. Political groups are falsifying reality and the innocent are dying as a consequence. A semi-automatic weapon is “described as a civilian version of a military machine gun.” A mass-shooting is when four-or-more victims are injured or killed.

America. It’s time to wake up and face reality.