Students should advocate for change

Story by Baker Orange Editorial Board

High school students have begun a conversation about the safety of students in schools since the spike in deaths from gun violence across the United States. Students have taken the lead in addressing the issues surrounding the violent epidemic of mass shootings.

Baker students should be included in this conversation that has stemmed from gun violence. Safety protocols exist but may not benefit the school in the face of tragedy.

It is important for the young people of this nation to voice their concern for public safety in schools because as students we should not have to worry about getting shot while in math class.

Social media is one of the main reasons students have started the conversation. Hashtags have been circulating the Twitter-sphere to advocate change for the protection of human life, especially in schools.

After the tragic shooting in Parkland, Florida the witnesses have been the first to demand change from the federal government. They are begging for policy reformation and would rather voice their opinion than have the nation only focus on remembrance and afterthoughts. Many of the students use “#NEVERAGAIN” on  social media and have reached the attention of celebrities and other public figures.

Major corporations have joined the collective plea for gun control, registration processes, and purchase qualifications. For example, Walmart has recently publicized its decision to raise the age of purchase of a gun to 21. As well as raising the age requirement, DICK’S Sporting Goods also released a statement saying it will no longer be selling assault-style fire arms or bump stocks “that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire more rapidly.”

With the conversation beginning to evolve into action, more students will hopefully join and influence the way that students can remain safe not only in schools, but everywhere.

This change, the addition of opinions from the youth, will likely have a positive impact on the way society deals with issues surrounding the ownership of firearms. After the Las Vegas concert shooting in 2017, the community mourned the loss of the victims and the entire country felt the sorrow of those whose lives were lost.

However, within months, the news of another mass shooting, or more specifically a school shooting, has become something that now seems unsurprising to most. As a country, the possibility that a shooting will occur has become a common fear among the people.

What sets the Parkland, Florida, shooting apart from others is the pain that the students have expressed on social media platforms, and the emotional pleas to anyone who will listen.

The Baker University student body can spark change if they so desire. As part of the audience, we can take these teenagers words and turn them into action. Since Baker is a private university, the rules and regulations that apply to public universities regarding concealed guns do not apply to us. We already outlaw guns on this campus. We can set an example for those universities who have no choice but to follow state legislation.

It takes one spark to ignite a forest fire, and the passion of America’s young adults is burning coast to coast. Let us not extinguish this flame. The safety standards of schools everywhere in this country must change. Lives, especially those of our children, need to stop being taken. Students have the power to make the change if they unite and educate others and themselves on this problem. The Parkland students have and will not remain silent, and neither should we. We must do better.