The National Rifle Association (NRA) is a non-profit, pro-gun organization that was founded back in 1871, and has been pushing for the upholding of the Second Amendment ever since.
But, after the last 10 years of gun violence, particularly at the high school and college level, they’ve faced criticism — not for upholding the the Second Amendment of the Constitution, but for not listening to the cries of protesters calling out for a change after multiple school shootings.
Still, one month later,nobody is listening.
Here at the Hyphen, we make it a priority to open lines of communication to every party, especially when talking about such heated issues such as our country’s gun laws.
But in attempting to do so, we were shut down.
After multiple attempts to contact the NRA for their thoughts on the recent school attacks, no feedback was received. Even our advisor, Mr. Wes Scott, reached out to them to no avail.
So we tried local.
Gold & Guns, a jewelry and gun shop located a half-mile away from Jeffersonville High School, denied to comment as well. (Might we add the scariest part: they did not even ask our high school journalists for any type of identification as we walked in, despite the Indiana law stating only those 21 and up can purchase handguns.)
The Liberty Belles Women’s Gun Club, an NRA-sponsored club located in Clarksville, did not comment after multiple phone calls and emails sent out to them, as well. The Hyphen failed to get a SINGLE comment back from three different locations about what should be done in the future, and what safety concerns we, as high school students, have.
Why doesn’t anyone want to talk about it? Why are we taught for 12 years to talk through our issues, but get doors slammed on us when questioning a company about something that could be potentially so life and death with students?
Unfortunately, we think it’s simple: they don’t want kids to be the reason their guns are taken away.
The fact of the matter is nobody wants to talk about a subject where kids are the victims, and student safety is the main concern. But it’s also a touchy subject, especially when Constitutional rights are being discussed.
As difficult as it might be for store owners, politicians and other adults to go through, it’s a discussion that needs to happen. And it needs to happen now.
In the end, each student and staff member of every high school nationwide can probably come to an agreement that during their eight-hour day, they all want to feel safe.
As school shootings have now become more frequently reported in the news, it’s inevitable for students to want some type of change, so that themselves and their peers don’t become the next statistic.
But we can’t do that unless the lines of communication are open.
Whether or not this change is the banning of firearms, or perhaps even increasing them among trusted adults in schools, gun control is the phrase on everyone’s lips. Staying silent is not going to decrease the casualties.
It’s clear there is a problem.
When students at Jeffersonville High School feel hesitant to walk out into the halls when a fire alarm goes off, or when parents feel uneasy watching their kids leave to start their day, it’s clear there is a problem.
There are a myriad of changes that could be argued for improved school safety, and we understand that there are alternatives to taking away everyone’s firearms.
But how can these changes be made if we can’t even get the conversation started? Why are others arguing something that affects us?
We get it. We’re young. We make some dumb decisions sometimes. (Tide Pod Challenge, anyone?)
But we’re not naive. And we’re definitely not stupid.
So in this issue of the Hyphen, we are making it a point to start the conversation. Listen to us; actually hear us. Involve us.
Change is happening, because the policies we have now simply aren’t sustainable.
It’s time to talk.