The following opinion-editorial piece was submitted to The Camasonian by Camas High School junior Tanner O’Brien.
THIS IS NORMAL.
Every day, I find myself reading another news article about a school shooting or political controversy and thinking that this is normal. It’s normal to see a headline about seventeen dead in a school shooting that took place two hours away from where I once lived. It’s normal to worry about being shot in a school. Normal to do so on a fortnightly basis with no end in sight. It’s a fact of life, here in America, that mass killings are not rare, nor will they be for a long time.
This is normal.
It’s normal to be horrified at the sheer loss of life we see and hear of every other week, and it’s normal to do nothing about it once the dread of disaster fades for the rest of us who didn’t suffer directly. It’s normal for these attacks to be blamed on mental health, then do nothing for those suffering from said issues. It’s normal to debate gun regulations and restrictions and leave without resolve. It’s normal for the entire world to look towards America and ask why we sit idly as our peers, our families, our children are violently killed without reason, without justification, without justice or dignity.
This is normal.
How much longer until we say it shouldn’t be normal?
How many more children have to die, how many families destroyed, how many headlines, how many tears, how many times must we suffer before we stand up and do something, anything to make our country safer? How many times must I ask the question before someone starts to listen?
This is not normal.
It has never been normal.