By: Adriano Spiga, Staff Writer
One of my most vivid memories of when I was a kid was in 5th grade. It was a
normal weekday, I was happy playing with my friends on the playground.
I was complaining about math homework with them, the taste of a chocolate muffin on the
tip of my tongue, the bright sunny sky lighting up my face with warmth. As I was going
through my normal routine of pretending to be a superhero and pretending to beat up
one of my friends, an alarm ripped through the sky and any and all conversations being
held, as the raspy voice of the principal comes onto the speaker. “Teachers get
everyone inside now. Code Silver”. To my 11 year old self, this announcement was confusing, as was everything else that followed it. As I was rushed into my classroom and pushed into a corner by the frail arms of my aging teacher, she frantically pushed all chairs up against the door
and told us to put our heads down and not to say a word. Do not whisper, do not speak. Silence. Thud. Thud. Creak. Silence. “Everyone remain calm at this time. The danger has passed. Classes can go back to normal at this time. No one has been hurt,” the voice of the all familiar principal said. My teacher breathed a sigh of relief and put the classroom back together. Not a word was said about that day for the remainder of the school year, and I wouldn’t know what happened until four years later. That’s when I learned I had been 10 meters away from death. A gunman was walking around the school campus that day.
While I was lucky not to be hurt or worse, there have been many others who have not been so lucky. Throughout this year alone (according to the Washington Post) 68 men, women and children have lost their lives due to mass shootings in America in 2018. We will never know their potential contributions to the world, and their families will never see them ever again. All this because some people in this world want to inflict pain on others and want us to be afraid. I can’t remember a time before we were taking precautions and being fearful of these evil people. That’s because since I have been born, there have been 138 mass shootings (according to Wikipedia category on Mass Shootings by the year in The United States). Mass shootings, as defined by US Federal Law, is a shooting that claims the lives of at least 4 people. That means since 2000, at least 552 people have been taken from us. I remember being younger and my mother wanting to get me a bulletproof backpack in case one of these psychopaths ever tried to add me to their list of ‘accomplishments’. We as a nation have been living in fear of these maniacs.
While many will contribute these mass shootings to guns or mental health, and propose we act taking preventative measures on those, in my opinion it is neither. It is the media that is to blame. Many news sources and websites will give the shooter exactly what they want. Their name and face to be broadcasted everywhere. They want the fame and attention these terrible events give them. I have not used, nor will I ever use, the names of any of these maniacs in an article when I report on these people. We need, as a nation, to ignore the shooter and talk about the victims. Instead of giving us background reports and the backstories of these evil men, tell us about the victims, and celebrate the people’s lives as their families prepare to say goodbye to their loved ones instead of telling everyone about the man that killed that very same person.