Grant Ohanian: Canyon lockdown prank callers should be punishedContributor March 29, 2019 0 COMMENTS
When we talk about the concern of school shootings, and going further, gun control, we talk about it as if it is a partisan issue. The safety of my fellow peers and I should not be partisan. One year ago, we had the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting. Six months ago, we had the Borderline shooting. It’s become obvious to me that the government doesn’t care about the safety of its constituents, and that’s worrying. When threats arise like they did on March 27, I have to be concerned.
I can no longer trust that I’ll be safe at school, no matter how much faculty promises our safety. There’s always one thought in the back of my head screaming “What if…” On March 27, that thought took over, as the urgent sounding announcement filled the air and completely transcended the mood in my classroom. 20 minutes? Or was it 2 hours? It was hard to tell. I texted my mom and dad in a group chat, telling them that we were on lockdown and that, if something happened to me, I loved them. I sat in fear, my mom telling me to not act like a hero if the threat were to enter my classroom, while my dad cried out of fear. In today’s world, students like me are filled with a tinge of fear hanging in the back of our heads, and so are our parents. Each time I go to school, a small part of me doesn’t know whether or not I’ll be able to get into my car and drive back home that day. I sat in my classroom, paralyzed in fear, terrified of what was to come.
With gun violence being such a prevalent issue in society, you would think the government would be installing common sense gun laws, aiming to protect its constituents from gun violence. My friends and I are very aware that the threat was a prank from 3 freshmen who did not want to take a math test, but we’d become so inundated with fear that we’re still shook up about it. The reason we were so fearful of these shootings is because they happen regularly. I live in a state of fear because politicians up in Washington are being bought out by the gun lobby and they lie to our faces about what banning guns would bring. With respect to those who say that giving up guns would lead to the government becoming tyrannical, we both know that response is tired and doesn’t carry weight. Tell that to the faces of civilians residing in the UK, Australia, Scotland, Japan and now New Zealand. They will laugh in your face. If the people who represent us in Congress are actually representing the people funding their campaigns and pockets, then why are they there? They’re supposed to be working in our interests, not the interests of lobbyists.
Going back to the lockdown, these pranks are not funny and they’re incredibly traumatizing to all the students, including myself. We were made to feel uncomfortably vulnerable, which is not acceptable in a school environment. I can’t tell you all the emotions and thoughts that flooded my brain as I sat in shock, texting my parents that I loved them. Imagine how we all felt when we heard that this was a prank. For me, any fear or anxiety, melted, reforming into anger. Why? Why was this serious issue being mocked by stupid students? Why is this funny? Most importantly, why must I live in fear for the rest of my high school and college career? It’s enough that I have to live in fear, but on top of that fear, I have to school with idiots who think it’s funny to scare my peers. Idiots. That’s right. They’re idiots.
These idiots deserve to be punished for conspiracy to mass homicide, making false statements to 911 operators, wasting time and resources of the SWAT team and the Sheriff’s department, and threatening the safety of students. I don’t care that they’re just kids. Students need to be taught that jokes like these are not funny. When I was a freshman, I knew that this wrong. I knew it was wrong in elementary. It’s common sense. I knew how big of an issue this was in middle school, so saying that these kids didn’t know the weight of their words is absolutely malarkey. By punishing these students, others will know that we have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to threats like this, because we should have a zero tolerance policy.
This is not the first time threats like this have been made. Students were traumatized, not to mention family members and faculty. Two surviving victims from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting just killed themselves, the father of a victim at Sandy Hook just killed himself, yet we want to mock these issues? Isn’t it enough that the federal government refuses to enact common sense gun laws to prevent instances like this from happening? With the shooting in New Zealand, gun laws were enacted almost immediately. Where’s the response to Columbine, Aurora, Sandy Hook, the Church, Marjory Stoneman, Borderline, San Bernardino and the Mandalay Bay shooting? I can only find thoughts and prayers. No action! Why is this amplified by moronic students mocking the issue? One of the girls enrolled at Canyon lost her father at the Mandalay Bay shooting. I can’t imagine what was going through her head. We want action. We need action. These kids need to be punished for their crimes. They need to understand why what they did was wrong and traumatizing.