Don’t Shoot!!

Growing up in today’s generation is completely different from when I was in coming up. The students deal with things completely different than we did. In school (especially high school) kids just fought out their problems and were done with it. If you lost the fight, you fought again and again and again until you A- proved yourself, or B- won the fight (finally). I have never in my life seen so many cases of suicide, mass shootings, and social and emotional crippled children under the age of 18. What is going on?

From 2013 to 2016, there have been 84 school shooting in schools from grades k-12. There have been 84 school shootings! Between 2013 and 2015, an average of two school shootings took place at K-12 schools each month. Among shootings at K-12 schools in which the age of the shooter was known, 56 percent (39 of 70) were perpetrated by minors. Over the past six years, 5,051 young Philadelphians ages 14 to 24 have been shot or killed. According to the 2010 FBI Uniform Crime Report, Philadelphia has the 4th highest homicide rate among the 50 largest US cities – 21.6 homicides per 100,000 residents. In 2012, 331 people were murdered in Philadelphia, and nearly 40% of those victims were youth 24 and younger. Not only do I have a problem with this high number of shootings, but I have a major issue with how these kids are getting access to these guns. So the issue becomes: 1- do we regulate the access to guns, especially to minors? 2- do we lobby to get social workers and psychologists put back into the schools to help decrease these emotionally unstable children? or 3- do we put armed police officers into the school to help decrease the likelihood of another school shooting from happening? Why not a combination of all 3? If we are being honest, just in the city of Philadelphia alone, there have been 15, 556 violent crimes in this city in 2017; there have been 65 murders since January 1, 2018, and 315 overall murders for 2017. There have been 17,250 murders in the United States last year alone, and currently 3,425 murders to date. Does this increase of violent crimes have any correlation with the increase of school shootings?

Many people would probably tell me that I am stretching the line too far by tying to make a comparison between the 2 because statistically school shootings have been done mainly by white males while violent crimes have been committed by black or latino males. So, should I make the correlation that these males are the issue? Stop giving males guns!!! That would be too easy. So maybe I should keep it simple and just say that we should arm our teachers (although I don’t think that this is a bad idea). What is the solution to this problem? I certainly can’t give you an answer on this million dollar question. What I can direct you to look into is the link between the shortage of social workers in the school and the increase of emotionally unstable children walking the halls. Or the link between more violence and sex and drugs being portrayed on tv and the increase of our youth engaging in dangerous and risky behaviors. Did you know that out of school time (the hours between school being let out and around 7ish pm) has the highest rates of crimes for juveniles? Stealing, drinking, robbing people, just getting into stuff they have no business getting into. Fewer programs being offered in the schools, less likelihood of neighbors looking out for the kids, more exposure to violence and sex…. You see where I’m going with this? There are more kids under the age of 16 in the juvenile system now than in the last 5 years.

It’s easy to just say “put armed cops in the schools”, or “put metal detectors in schools”, or “hire more armed guards”, but will these things really make a difference in the problem? In my opinion-NOPE! In order to stop all of these shootings, rapes, and other crap these kids are doing, we need to talk about all the issue with the kids. There were less violent incidents in schools when the students had more access to people to talk to about their issues. School used to be a place where students could get conflict resolution “talks” with adults that were supposed to mentor and help them. Those assets were taken away. More violence was exposed to them, more sex, more drugs, and we just expect these students to know not to engage in these activities. Expect these students to know how to manage their anger and emotions and sort through their feelings and still be able to function. We as adults have a hard time handling this, so how can children do this? Do I believe that mentors and coaches and positive adult role models make a difference? YES! I’ve seen it work first hand. Should access to guns be removed? YUP! Should parents be more mindful of where they keep their weapons? YUP! Should guns be so easily accessible to civilians? NOPE! Should counselors be put back in schools? YUP! There is not just 1 answer to the problem- there are many little things that should be implemented to help correct this situation.

Let’s just be clear- white kids shoot up schools because they are emotionally unstable. Black and latino kids shoot people (outside of schools) over money to provide for themselves and their family. Am I saying that more white kids are not becoming “gansgters” and selling drugs and shooting people over money and drug beefs? Certaintly not. But I am saying that white kids are the only ones reported bringing guns to school with the intention of hurting large numbers of people.

I would like all of these shootings to stop. Black kids, white kids, latino kids, all kids. I don’t want anymore children to die, for any reason. Let’s figure out all of the different ways that we can rectify this situation.

Be legendary Kings, be extraordinary Queens!



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