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OPINION: An Open Letter to Anti-Gun Control

Haley Haverda, Reporter

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This is for every one of you who hasn’t stepped foot in a public high school in over 40 years, 30 years, 20 years, or even if you just graduated last year. You simply do not understand the fear that is instilled in everyone of us as we walk the halls day after day. You simply do not, and can not, because you just aren’t here.

It isn’t fair, the fear I have when going to school, the fear I have had since junior year.

I am a senior ready to graduate, to take the next step in life and become an adult, but I am terrified walking into school thinking everyday, “Is this the day that I might need to hide for my life or to send that last goodbye text as so many did in Florida?”

The number of times I have cried over the fear of a gunman entering my school as I try to get my education, is far too high — because it shouldn’t have been even once.

It honestly makes me physically distraught. I sat on my bed last night crying at the thought of people actually wanting to put more guns into schools. That people think that arming our teachers, providing ‘highly trained volunteers’ with weapons designed to kill. Our teachers are not supposed to be our protection.

The laws and the lawmakers are supposed to be our protection.

But these lawmakers in office would rather ban our backpacks, than ban assault rifles, because God forbid they lose money donated to their “agenda.”

My generation is the future, but where will we be if we all are suffering from anxiety and pain over the fact that we, as a whole generation, feel overlooked and dismissed? Or we don’t even make it to adulthood?

To see that those in office would rather take money and see our lives be taken than make change is heartbreaking.

Let me explain my position a little more, and continue with saying that my school was just broken into over our long weekend. Twenty two iPads were stolen, and nine computers. Glass was smashed and ripped out of the door frame entering into the school, and rocks were used to force their way into classrooms. So with the most recent break in, a gun found on campus last year, an underclassman setting two fires in the bathrooms this year, and just eyebrow-raising commentary throughout the day that I hear, forgive me if I don’t want one more gun in anyone’s school.

Forgive me for thinking of my life over your guns.

Forgive me for fearing to walk into school everyday.

Forgive me for asking my teacher if she would want guns in our school and forgive her for answering no.

Forgive the tears I have shed because I live this truth daily. I am in high school. I walk the halls with my head turned, watching over my shoulder. My eyes on the nearest exit.

Forgive me for valuing the lives of my generation over the second amendment, because if you have forgotten, the second amendment was written in a time of civil unrest and when guns only had one shot. The second amendment was not written when schools were shot up biweekly, and they most certainly were not blessed in churches.

(Link to a discussion on the Heller case)

Forgive me for firmly believing our forefathers would be turning in their graves at the devastation and entitlement our nation has proceeded with.

Forgive me for thinking beyond and for educating myself.

Forgive me for standing up and taking a stance against what I don’t believe in, and in what I think will cause more harm than good.

Forgive me for not wanting what happened at Dalton High School to happen at my school, because we are all just humans with the ability to let emotions get the worst of us – and guns are just machines.

Forgive me if I offended you, but I honestly am sick of the arguments and the hatred.

I try my hardest every day to be open-minded, and free from ignorance, so I have put time and thought into the other side of the argument.

I completely understand that we are separate generations, who don’t look at guns the same way. I see them as killing machines, which they were made to be, but I know this is not how everyone sees them.

If you grew up hunting, or were in a branch of our military, I understand your intertwined connection with our second amendment. Yes it is your right to bear arms, but it is my right to live as well.

I beg you to take a walk in my shoes, a walk into school with a heart racing and the thought that never goes away: “Is this the day?”

I understand if your thoughts are still unwavering, and that you think the solution is just more firepower, more guns for protection; but for me and to many other full-time high school students, please reconsider.

Please think of our fear, our teachers’ fear, and our lawmakers’ failure to protect us.

The only thing that separates America and its mass shooting problem from the rest of the world is our complete lack of gun control laws.

It’s not fair for your children and grandchildren to be living in fear to go to school. I personally am just tired; I’m exhausted and scared every day. And I beg those with the power to vote or the power to make a bigger difference than I, to use it on behalf of my generation. We will be here after you, facing the consequences if action is not taken.

Thank you for reading. Spread love today. Trust the process. Stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves. Take time to educate yourself and learn something new. Ignorance will divide us all.

1 Comment

One Response to “OPINION: An Open Letter to Anti-Gun Control”

  1. Tony H Haverda on March 5th, 2018 5:10 pm

    Thank you Haley! As a parent (who happens to be the father of the author, Haley Haverda), I apologize for my generation failing all of you. And I pledge my support to make our class rooms, schools and country safe again. Thank you for expressing yourself and your convictions so eloquently and powerfully.


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