The Valentine’s Day shooting in which a former student killed 17 people and injured more than a dozen others at a Florida high school is just the latest among dozens of such incidents that have occurred in recent years. Even President Trump initially didn’t bother to address the massacre — he reportedly chose to play golf just few miles from funerals for some of the victims — until public pressure became too great. Trump later met with students, parents and gun-control advocates to hear them out.
That sets this most recent massacre apart from many of its predecessors. Whether these students are more assertive or the public in general has collectively decided that they’ve had enough, they aren’t mollified by the traditional thoughts and prayers.
People across the country have been motivated to act; students and advocates nationwide have called for student walk-outs, although different groups are calling for the action on different days. Apparently, more people are calling their elected officials demanding stricter gun control laws.
We hope this increased awareness continues, and helps officials look for ways to make our schools, and society in general, safer.
Ultimately, we can’t completely close off our schools. They receive deliveries all day, and parents must be able to enter and confer with teachers or pick up sick children.
Officials — and all of us — should constantly look for ways to make our children safer. But like society in general, we must weigh our desire to be safe against our desire to live as freely as possible.
It’s a struggle that might never be resolved fully. But constant attention could help us find ways to better ensure safety without compromising our freedoms.