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The Silent Epidemic

Gun Violence in America

     Picture a typical day where the sound of students laughing and learning in a healthy school environment is disrupted by the echoing bangs of gunshots. This is a reality faced by thousands of students across the United States as gun violence continues to infiltrate our schools. 

     According to Gun Violence Archive, an online organization that collects data on all shootings, there were 656 mass shootings in 2023 alone. This resulted in 18,854 deaths and 36,338 injuries. About 8.9% of these casualties and 12.4% of injuries were minors (people from ages 0-17.) These alarming statistics hit too close to home, with a significant portion of the casualties being young people under the age of 18. It’s an essential reminder of the devastating impact gun violence has on everyone in the world.

     One recent principle shooting occurred at the Kansas City Chiefs parade on February 14, 2024. The parade celebrated the Chiefs winning the Superbowl and took place in Kansas City, Missouri. The authorities said that the shooting started because of an argument among several people, including two teenagers whose identity is not yet public. This resulted in the juveniles pulling out guns and shooting the individuals around them. As they tried to escape, uninjured civilians who attended the parade held them back and waited for the authorities to arrive. Unfortunately, one woman died, and 22 people were injured. Of these, more than half were under the age of 16.

     Another deadly shooting that took place was at a high school in Perry, Iowa, on January 4th, 2024.  A 17-year-old named Dylan Butler opened fire and shot several people, injuring five and killing two. He later killed himself, but this incident marked a very significant moment in the conversation around gun violence because Perry is a small town – almost 1/10 the size of Dublin, according to the 2021 census. This shows us that the size of a city honestly doesn’t play a part in whether or not a shooting will occur, so proper precautions are to be taken. 

     Our school takes several precautions to prepare us for these situations, including our safety drill. The teachers and students have roles to fulfill during dangerous times like these, and we go through this drill multiple times per year so our school knows what to do. Our campus also installed new cameras and fences for our safety. 7th-grade Fallon student Sophie Wang voiced her opinion on the safety drill. “In reality, I don’t know how much that drill is going to do for our school, but it’s what I would try to follow,” she explained. She further stated that the drill is necessary to have, but she would follow it mainly because there is nothing else to do in that situation. Taking this into consideration, our school’s safety plan may not be suitable in the case of an emergency. 

     After interviewing and speaking to many students at Fallon, it was apparent that they were apprehensive about a school shooting happening. When asked if she was afraid of this, 7th grader Sahana Garikiparthi said, “Yeah, because it happens everywhere, so you never know when it’ll happen. It could also be a student or teacher at this school.” There are a lot of unknown factors when it comes to gun violence, so this instills a heightened sense of concern among people.


Additional facts about gun violence in America: 

  1. It can occur for a variety of reasons, including poverty, easy access to firearms, mental instability, lack of opportunity, and discrimination.
  2. The tragic use of firearms to specifically harm a particular group or individual is defined as gun violence
  3. Recently, the number of shooters who are minors has been increasing. 
  4. In 4 out of 5 school shootings, at least one other person had knowledge of the attacker’s plan but failed to report it
  5. Guns used in about 68% of gun-related incidents at schools were taken from their home, a friend, or a relative.


     Together, we should work towards creating a safer environment for all, where the joy of learning and the sense of community can grow without the fear of gunshots interrupting our everyday lives.



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About the Contributors
Nikitha Shivaprasad, Staff Writer
Staff Writer
Shamya Nag
Shamya Nag, Staff Writer
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