Op-Ed: The Deficits American Students Face Due to Gun Violence


Image by Hannah

Photo taken at Galster Park in West Covina, California of flowers through a blue painted silver fence.

Story by Hannah Ramirez, Editor in Chief: TimberTV

Disclaimer: This article is opinion-editorial. Any views or opinions represented in this piece are personal and belong solely to the article author and are not endorsed or representative of The Academy Chronicle, Mt. SAC ECA, or the West Covina Unified School District. 


It was the day before Valentine’s Day, the day meant to celebrate the people you love and admire. I was helping my little brother shop for a gift for his girlfriend, as most people were. My cell phone begins to rapidly vibrate from the messages I had received from my friend in Michigan – a school shooting occurred in his city of East Lansing at Michigan State University where he attends school.


I do not care what your stance on the 2nd amendment is as I’m not here to argue that, whether you agree with the ethics of owning a gun or not, or if the amendment created in 1791 should still have a play in today’s society, or about how the foundation of this country says we as Americans we should be able to legally obtain a gun. 

What I am here to do, is inform the reader on my personal perspective about the active gun violence in America. I will inform you on the legal mandation of school attendance, refer to past school shootings, and the tragic effects of gun violence on the student’s lives. 

 Seeking alternative education should not be something I am forced to do because I do not feel safe attending school in-person within the United States of America. The Bill of Rights protects my freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the right to petition, and accessibility to assemble. While this is not stated in the constitution directly, the Supreme Court has affirmed this multiple times in court cases. As an American student, I am supposed to have the right to an education. It is legally mandated for me to attend school until I am eighteen years of age or obtain a high school diploma, according to California’s Board of Education. Of course there’s exceptions to this; however, this is the standard for the average American student. I have to attend school regularly to obtain this diploma. It makes me uncomfortable to know that from January 2017 to April 2022 a shooting occurred every eight days in California, according to the Public Policy Institute of California, and to know that a school shooting has occurred tonight (02/12/2023) and that tomorrow morning I will attend school like what the students at Michigan State University in East Lansing were attempting to do when their lives changed forever. Parents will receive phone calls tonight that their child is dead and was killed on their school campus because they were attempting to further their education. They were supposed to feel safe and walk on campus carefree. From now on, those students will be precautious and walk those campus grounds in fear. Along with worrying about their trigonometry midterm or going out to eat with peers, they will have to have an added stressor regarding safety. Across the country, American students will be thinking about the tragedy that occurred at Michigan State University and be worried that their school might be next. 

On Valentine’s Day, it will have been five years since the Douglas High School mass shooting occurred in Parkland, California. The senseless act of violence affected 17 students and killed an additional 17. They were high school students most likely gifting their loved ones Valentine grams that morning, but they later lost their life or knew of someone who lost their life. I remember when I first read about it in the eighth grade and the moment it felt unreal was when I came to the realization that some of the victims were only a year older than me; they were practically my age. My experiences of homecoming, football games, school events, and prom- those students were robbed of. And there are several other American students who were robbed of these experiences because they were killed in a school shooting. 

The names of these victims will always be known. These students had to suffer a scary tragic death, because the gun control laws in place currently (April 2023) are not protecting students. 

March 27: Nashville

Evelyn Dieckhaus (9 years old)

William Kinney (9 years old) 

Hallie Scruggs (9 years old) 

Feb. 13: East Lansing, Michigan

Arielle Anderson (19)

Brian Fraser (20)

Alexandria Verner (20)

I should have the right to attend school and not have the fear that a mass shooting will occur on campus. This is not an issue regarding security on campuses in the country, but rather the violence the second amendment protects. We the students are in constant fear that our school will become a victim of gun violence. 

We need to stop putting bandaids on deep wounds. The deep wounds being the problem this country has with gun violence. A change needs to occur or American students will forever suffer the deficits of gun violence. I do not have a solution to offer as I have no prior experience with social or political change within the United States; however, I could say I have suffered the deficits of gun violence at institutions of education as every time I walk through the black gates I can’t help but think, “Am I going to return home?” 

As I write this, I received an alert from The New York Times with a headline stating that the gunman who killed three people at MSU has shot themselves. The person who robbed three American students from the opportunity to further their education and receive their degree from a prestigious university cannot receive a punishment or any type of accountability as they are now dead and nothing will happen to make sure this doesn’t happen again. This is America.