Students Face Rising Issue with Gun Control

Adam Wartel, Reporter

One of the biggest issues facing students the past four years is gun control.  Gun Control has been at the forefront of political debates for years, even if very little action has been taken, with only one federal regulation since the Parkland shooting, according to

Since the Columbine shooting in 1999, school shootings have been a fear for students.  This fear only worsened in 2012 when the Sandy Hook shooting occurred and has continued to grow in the seven years since.

One of the most discussed school shootings in recent years was the Parkland shooting in 2018.  Practically immediately after the shooting, many students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School began to speak out about the shooting.

“ It says so much about the current state that our country is in, and how much has to be done,” David Hogg, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas said.

“We, meaning students, definitely made an impact on people and grew awareness for the issue,” Senior Lilah Benjamin said.  She also said, “There’s more talk about gun legislation but nothing has really been done still.”

In the year after the Parkland shooting, there were at least 31 school shootings, according to CNN.  Nineteen people were killed in those incidents, and 44 were injured.

The gun control issue even hit close to home, when in February of 2018, an anonymous phone call tipped off the Westerville Police department to a possible safety concern here at Westerville South.  

The lockdown occurred just two weeks after Parkland, and only 18 days after two Westerville Police officers were shot and killed in Westerville.

On March 14, 2018, students from all three Westerville High Schools walked out of class at 10 a.m. in memory of those killed in the Parkland shooting.  

“Students were showing that it was a big issue,” Senior Andrea Kamau said. “We wouldn’t let fear get in the way of that.”

Another walkout was planned for April 20, 2018, the anniversary of the Columbine shooting, to protest for gun control, but was cancelled by administration at both Westerville South and Central.

According to a survey from the Pew Research Center in March of 2018, approximately 57 percent of students between the ages of 13 and 17 are worried “about the possibility of a shooting happening at their school.”

“I would think at least 35 to 40 percent of others students [worry about a school shooting] right after another shooting,” Kamau said.

Even during the time this article was being written, two more school shootings occurred, one at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte, and the other near Denver, Colorado.  Three people were killed and twelve others were injured in the shootings.

“Gun control has given me something political to be passionate [about],” Benjamin said. “I pay more attention to the news and twitter now.”