OPINION: Eighteen Is Definitely Enough

//MADISON PAUL//

On Valentine’s Day, 17 precious individuals had their life taken out from under them, without the chance to even say goodbye to their loved ones. 19-year-old, Nikolas Cruz, pulled the fire alarm after throwing a smoke grenade into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, his former high school.

After being expelled for disciplinary actions, students around the school always said that he caused a lot of problems and is the type to shoot up the school. After all the jokes that were passed around, it became a reality.

Cruz used an AR-15, a gun commonly used for war, opened fire into a hallway full of students. He knocked on classroom doors and shot anyone running in the hallway. After the first gunshot, many ran to take cover. While other students were in classrooms taking cover and hiding under desks, brave students took videos of the succeeding events. The sound of people screaming for their life is something you can’t ever unhear.

Football coach and teacher, Aaron Feis, threw himself in front of his students and put their lives before his own. Feis was a very well-liked teacher and many had so much respect for him. His final act was not only brave but inspiring. After being pulled out on a gurney and rushed to the hospital, Feis died in surgery from his gunshot wounds. According to CNN, the students saw Feis as hero and will continue keep his memory alive.

Anger, confusion, and sympathy are only a few words I can use to describe my feelings towards this massacre. The lesson to be learned from this is that people need to have self-control, if you’re upset or mad about something, seek help. Buying a gun should be taken more seriously and owning one, even more so. The reality is, it’s not the gun’s fault, but the person that chooses to purchase it. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people but with guns.

After reading and watching some of what occured, it makes me wonder, what I am going to do to start living each day like it’s my last. Anyone could die tomorrow because we are not invincible. And that just opens the can of worms to another question, can you reflect on your life and say that you lived your life to the fullest? I sure can’t.

We only have one chance to leave our mark on the world. Just one. Time is endless but people are not. So, my advice to you is take that extra step, run the extra mile, and go above and beyond to make sure you are happy and the people around you are too.

It brings tears to my eyes even thinking about this, life is precious. Nothing can make this okay, this is an unforgivable act. I cannot even begin to imagine what the families of these people are feeling, but this is a time when the school, community, state, and even country should come together and mourn the losses.

Yesterday’s shooting marks the eighteenth school shooting this year and we do not need a nineteenth or a twentieth. As a country, we need to start coming together and stop all of the nonsense.

School shootings can happen anywhere literally at anytime. Some have even experienced it here at Mountain Vista, that is how unpredictable the world is. It takes one person to make a difference, but just imagine how much of a difference could be made if many people were to rise up. The one and only solution to this is if you are sad, depressed or unhappy, seriously seek help, don’t do something that can ruin the rest of your life.

My last and final point is always kiss your mom and dad goodbye, hug your brothers and sisters tighter, and make sure you never leave a conversation on bad terms. Inevitably you will never know if those will be your last words.

February 14, a day of love and affection, is now a day the people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School will never forget.

 

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