By Mo Castaneda
Gun violence is a topic that really hits close to home here at Weld Central High School. Students and staff that were present in the 2014 school year. These individuals experienced this frightening matter first hand, after a violence scare at the end of the school year. It became a local controversy when three Weld Central High School students were arrested at the school after an alleged threat of a possible school shooting. Justifiably, the whole community was shaken up. Parents were hesitant about sending their children back to school after the ordeal, however, the Re-3J superintendent declared that the school campus was safe to attend, while sharing information about the occurrence to the public. Yet many students and parents were still uncomfortable remaining a part of the school community. Considering the situation, an alarm system known as “Blue Point” was installed into the school. In the case of an emergency, the authorities would be notified immediately about the specific intruder danger.
We have a former Weld Central High School student to thank for coming forward to administration about the alleged threat, halting the event of a tragedy. However, other schools around the country have not had such luck. We are all very aware of the seriousness of gun violence, especially in regard to schools. The Columbine, Sandy Hook, and Virginia Tech tragedies are just a few shootings to have occurred on school campuses. Believe it or not, there have been over 200 school shootings since the year 2013. These are heart-rending and catastrophic events that affect communities greatly, but seldom are reported across the nation. For years, many have debated the prevention of gun violence on campuses. Some believe the solution is to restrict the availability of weapons, by enforcing stricter gun laws. Others state that such laws are in violation with the second amendment, and punish honest citizens. Many U.S. citizens are clear to announce that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people,” and that it would be more efficient to focus on the ethics and morals of the people around us, rather than glorifying violence in various news outlets. The solution could be to increase security in schools by adding metal detectors to the student entrances, but many students at Weld Central High School and across the nation concluded that it would come at a large expense and inconvenience, not to mention creating a negative school environment.
There does not seem to be a clear resolution to ending gun violence, even in schools. The impression is given that to ask for the end of gun violence would be like asking for world peace — potentially near to impossible. In an American culture like ours, having access to guns is a right, and to inhibit citizens from obtaining weapons would not be taken lightly, to say the least. So, as a country, we are basically stuck between a rock and a hard place with this matter. An optimistic light can be seen, that focuses expectantly on the future of our country’s percentages violence decreasing, especially on school grounds. However, this cannot happen until we act upon discovering a solution to the problem.
Photographer: Keith Yorgensen