Only five months into 2019, there have already been 8 school shootings in the states, killing four people and injuring 17.
In one week, two students just days away from graduation – Riley Howell and Kendrick Costello – died protecting their classmates from gunfire in shootings in North Carolina and Colorado.
After the Dunblane Primary School shooting in 1996 – 16 students and one teacher were killed before the shooter killed himself – the UK banned handguns. The UK has not has a school shooting incident since.
School shootings for UK students are luckily not a worry or concern, due to shootings being extremely rare within the UK. Most incidents involving two or more deaths within the UK have been due to organised crime, such as feuds between drug dealers or gangs.
Emotions and fear always sweeps the nation when a school shooting story breaks, especially in the US but do these specific issues have a similar effect on UK students?
Sam, 21, has never been to the states but described the shootings as “dreadful”. “It’s pretty awful when you’re hearing about them pretty much every other day”.”
113 people were killed or injured in school shootings in the US in 2018, BBC reports. The number of school shootings in 2019 are predicted to rise.
Neriah, 20, has become discouraged and disheartened by rising number of mass deaths and injuries in the US, “it makes me feel like there’s not going to be any progress, which is sad”.
As outsiders, Brits understand that it’s not the American people who don’t want a resolution, it’s the government. Many political campaigns are funded by the NRA , – in 2016, the NRA spent $11,438,118 to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign – and are therefore less inclined to break that partnership, go against the organisation’s beliefs and lose the money.
Clemence, 26, suggests the US government “looked at their policies and laws, maybe it wouldn’t happened as much”.
Neriah believes government effort should be coupled with a concrete safety plan in schools, “not just giving them the draws of what to do if there’s a shooting, but having other forms of security and protection…so no kids have to risk their lives to save their classmates or teachers.”
Sam has a simpler resolution, “stop glorifying guns”. He owes the non-issue of gun violence in Britain to the fact that guns aren’t romanticised in the country, but he “gets the impression” that the US does.
It’s wishful optimism to say that the US will eventually listen to the pleas of its citizens, but we’re left with the question of how many more children will have to die before the US government makes a change.