opinion   |   column

Enough was enough long ago



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First responder vehicles and volunteers stand outside Noblesville High School. After a shooting occurred at Noblesville West Middle School, leaving a teacher and a student injured, students from the middle school were transported to the high school to be picked up by parents. Eman Mozaffar Buy Photos

It happened again. Last Friday, May 25, a student at Noblesville West Middle School in Noblesville, Indiana, opened fire, wounding a teacher and another student. 

This one seems to ring a little more loudly in my ear as it took place just about 20 minutes away from the house in which I grew up in Fishers, Indiana.

For years I have heard about how fantastic Hamilton County is, which is exactly why my family chose to live there. Last year, Money Magazine named Fishers — directly adjacent to Noblesville — the best place to live in the country. 

According to Niche, an organization that ranks schools, cities and neighborhoods based on quality of living, Hamilton County is the number one place in the U.S. to raise a family.

If this were true, if the most ideal part of the country has fallen to the tyranny of gun violence, death threats and unsafe schools, then this country has completely lost the moral backbone on which it was founded. 

Furthermore, this taking place where it did should be the final straw. It should spark a revolution. However, the overwhelming reaction seems to be gratitude that it was only two injured people and none dead. 

It’s disgusting how accustomed to gun violence we have become. 

Just a week before, on May 18, 10 died in a shooting at a high school in Santa Fe, Texas. That shooting got a bit more attention just because the public has exhausted its ability to spread grief to every school shooting due to their frequency. They seem to have become such a weekly norm that we do not give them the needed attention.

According to a Washington Post analysis, more than 215,000 children have been exposed to a school shooting since 1999. 

It is well past time to make change, but maybe there is hope. Maybe this series of atrocities has been the spark for a grassroots movement in our younger generations. 

In March, hundreds of thousands of people — the bulk of whom were students — gathered in the nation’s capital to demand action on gun violence. It is perfectly legitimate to push the blame and responsibility on our government as they are here, in essence, solely to protect us. 

It is past the time for President Trump to put forward things like which media outlet “gets” him, which person he should fire next or even his border wall. If the wall is supposed to be protection from violence, then let’s start by fixing the largest growing violence epidemic in our nation — gun violence. And there is nowhere better to start than in schools. 

I am not saying we need to outlaw guns outright. If anything, events like these have proven that we need protection. But we can start with more compulsory gun safety training. 

In Indiana, there is no training required to own a handgun, rather a simple background check. Safety training may be able to prevent shootings like the one in Noblesville. 

Authorities have not yet released how the 13-year-old student got the gun, but if it were simply because he knew how to access his parents’ guns in his house, then that is a fault of Indiana gun laws. The state could start by requiring training to prevent easy mishaps like a child being able to find and steal a gun from his parents. 

All state and local representatives need to make gun safety the forefront of discussion. Likewise, the U.S. Congress needs to communicate more effectively on this issue, open debate and pass legislation that will make a difference. 

President Trump needs to shift his focus to making Americans feel safe again, because that is what a government is supposed to do, and I don't even want to think of raising a family in a country that is regressing as the U.S. is. 

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