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School Shootings Essay

1388 words - 6 pages

“Kill me, please. I can’t believe I did that.” These were the chilling words of Michael Carneal, a fourteen year old boy who massacred a group of students in a prayer circle at his school (Johnson). Many cases of school shootings show students distressed and sometimes incapacitated by certain mental diseases that cause them to lose conscious control of their actions, such as Carneal who was later diagnosed with schizophrenia (Johnson). Many more cases however, are perpetrated by students suffering from severe depression or extreme psychosis. Nine out of ten shooters surveyed were depressed and/or experiencing suicidal thoughts (Toppo). “Research shows that people who carry out school ...view middle of the document...

“Things got a lot worse post-Columbine,” quotes John Whitehead, president of a civil liberties group (Koch). The FBI reports that in the last 15 years, thousands of people have died in tragedies of school shootings. Among the deadliest were the Columbine shooting, the Virginia Tech massacre, and the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting (Stop the Shootings). Though the shooters show a variety of motives, from mental illness, to desire for revenge or even fame, all have contributed to the tragedy of this issue in our nation, and each case demonstrates the urgency for reform. The United States has the highest frequency of school shootings of any country in the world, and thus is an incredibly eminent issue in society. The U.S. has the highest rate of gun ownership, and one of the quickest and easiest gun acquirement processes, and additionally was recently ranked on the list of the 100 deadliest countries by the CIA (Jordan). Shannon Watts is the founder of Moms Deman Action for Gun Sense in America, an organization that works to bring attention to the issue of school shootings. She quotes, “Parents in communities live in fear. An estimated 90% of school districts have tightened security since Newtown- installing metal detectors, surveillance cameras, and bullet proof glass. Schools now have lockdown drills reminiscent of Cold War air raid drills,” (Strauss). In the first month of 2014 alone, 14 schools shootings occurred in the United States (Jordan). Countless movies and books attempt to raise awareness of the issue among society. One such novel is The Hate List, by Jennifer Brown. It follows high school student Valerie blank. At the start of the novel, Valerie is recovering from being shot in the leg by her boyfriend, Nick. On the day he brought a gun to school and killed many of their classmates, Valerie j
Brown both accurately and inaccurately displays the horror, tragedy, and aftermath of a school shooting in her novel, The Hate List.
Obviously, an act of school violence, especially a shooting, is an enormous tragedy that greatly affects the lives of countless individuals, both directly and indirectly. People react and cope in a variety of ways to trauma and tragedy. Many will feel anger toward the shooter, the school, the misfortune, and themselves. Most will experience remorse for those killed and sympathy or admiration for the courageous and wounded. In The Hate List, many of the characters display this common reaction to the shooting at their high school. Students are angry with or disgusted by the suicidal shooter, Nick, who was an outcast and seen as strange and creepy by his peers. They are angry with the school, and afraid to go back to the place that is stained with the blood of their classmates. They visit the wounded victims and find amends with one another in the face of the near death experience. All of these fairly accurately depict the responses of the affected. However, Valerie, the main character, who was...

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