John McCarthy’s Gun Violence assembly: good intentions, bad execution

Recently, Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy came to WJ for an important assembly about increased gun violence and threats in the area. The presentation included ways in which students can limit and address the unfortunate reality of gun violence in schools.
During the presentation, I couldn’t help but wonder; why does this have to be our reality, and why has it become students’ responsibility to manage?
Gun violence has been a significant issue that has persistently increased in recent years and it is difficult to place blame anywhere except for lawmakers. According to a Vox article, there is an average of around one mass shooting each day in America. The article also notes that there have been more than 2,500 mass shootings since Sandy Hook.
So, why do we, as students, have to be on high alert for any sort of violent threat during the time meant to be spent learning? Well, because we have reached a seemingly unreturnable point of terror and violence in schools. The very fact that it has come to the point where students must be the primary whistleblowers, is a disgrace.
I thought the assembly was very well intended. That being said, it wasn’t well received. I appreciated that the presentation was led by professionals and individuals whose entire career has revolved around issues like gun violence. As a student, this credibility was important, especially when discussing such an important and heavy topic.
I didn’t appreciate that nearly the entire focus of the assembly was on necessary student action to prevent gun violence. Considering the current state of the country and the recent skyrocketing trends of gun violence, student action isn’t an outrageous notion. The point however is that students, or anyone for that matter, should never be in the position of having to report such threats. Of course, we don’t live in a perfect world. But it should not come to this, where we are almost expecting a situation to arise and it is going to be up to us to report it rather than the lawmakers who could have prevented the crisis all along.
The bottom line is that laws must change. It is not our job to control this issue. Of course reporting any suspicious threats is the best we can do given the situation at hand, but it is immensely frustrating that this is our reality.

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