Following the horrifying incident that took place in Newtown, Connecticut last Friday, the country has been in shock. Conversations around the cause of the incident, what could have been done to prevent it and where we go from here have been abound but very few of them have included the voice of young people.
Here at WE’CED, we discussed the incident and compiled our reactions as answers to three questions that seemed to keep coming up.
What did you think when you heard about the shooting in Newtown, Conn.?
Jesus: Parents shouldn’t have to worry about their kids’ safety while they are in school. This event was a tragedy, so we must take the steps necessary to prevent another outburst like this.
Mia: Regarding the incident in Newtown, Conn. I mourn for the loss of those innocent lives. Many in America have been comparing their lives and those of their children and family to those affected by this incident and are frightened with the thought of what they would do if this happened to them.
Kalvin: I think the school shooting is crazy, actually, it makes me angry. I remember my teacher telling me and instantly it ruined my day.
Shawn: I think it’s really sad to see those kids and teachers go through that.
Diego: I think this is one of the most devastating incidents that have happened in my lifetime. To me, it’s not horrible because people got shot and died, I mean people die all the time, it’s horrible because it was done to what I believe are angels. The kids were from five to 10 years old. That means they only got a few years to live and were not given the chance to grow up and experience beautiful things like graduating middle school, going to camp and finding their first girlfriend or boyfriend. I remember all of that stuff, all of that made a difference in my life and I just can’t imagine the pain their families are going through.
Ana: I think this whole thing is sad and heartbreaking. It is even worse since it‘s children that died but really we all die, tragic or not.
Lisa: First of all, I find this incident very sad and heartbreaking. I also find it very sick and twisted. Killing anyone is bad enough but to kill innocent children is horrific. My heart goes out to everyone affected by it. <3
Jjakoba: I think that this was a very horrible incident that is not the first of it’s kind and won’t be the last.
Lisbeth: I think that it is just sad how people don’t have a heart and are able to do something like that. I feel so mad at the guy that killed those kids.
Do you think this could have been prevented? If so, how?
Jesus: Having background checks when people buy guns can definitely help to prevent violence. People who have already engaged in violence are more likely to do it again. The problem in this incident was that the individual had access to guns. A person may have legally bought a gun and use it wisely but that is useless if someone who isn’t fit to use a weapon has access to it.
Mia: I believe that this could have been prevented by arming the schools with a few policemen or right away made an announcement throughout the school about what was happening and for teachers/staff to lock their doors.
Kalvin: I don’t think it could have been prevented because these things happen no matter what. You can prepare yourself for what is coming but it is still coming.
Diego: I don’t think such a thing as this could have ever been prevented. Maybe this was meant to be, maybe this happened so that the people governing America have to make drastic changes in the way they are running this country… our country.
Ana: There’s a lot of laws/rules we can make to prevent this but it’s not really going to stop. People are stealing, getting a hold of drugs, underage kids are getting alcohol, so making it harder to get a gun won’t stop the determined.
Lisa: If the school had a better security system they could’ve probably completely avoided the situation. If schools had magnetic cards students and staff had to use to get on campus then you wouldn’t have an intruder. Also, if the school was armed itself, sometimes you gotta fight fire with fire.
Jjakoba: I think it could have been prevented with a few more precautionary measures to help before, during and after this happens within the school.
Lisbeth: I think it could have been prevented by having people outside to see who went in or out of the school. I also think locking doors at all times should be available and you should knock every time you go out.
How do you think our leaders should respond?
Jesus: Leaders need to find ways to prevent this. Maybe it should be necessary for someone to buy a gun safe when they buy guns. Background checks should be mandatory when someone buys a gun.
Mia: This is America’s wake up call and it has opened the eyes of a lot of people, this can happen at anytime and in any place. I believe now the schools will come up with alternative ways for safety. Our local and national leaders should make alternative ways for safety and strongly enforce them in schools. Hopefully after this incident we can prepare ourselves for better safety rules and as a country, help support the town of Newtown, Conn. with loving, encouraging for their tragic loss.
Kalvin: Our leaders should make our schools safer by having metal detectors or dogs we can train and let out if someone comes. It should be something unsuspected and different for each school.
Shawn: We should not let people get guns without a background check.
Diego: We trust them with everything we own, everything we eat and breathe. They should know by now how serious and delicate it is to have such responsibility. I hope and pray to God that they find it in their hearts to make smart choices in how they have more control over their own people because we need peace.
Ana: Our local leaders can surround all these places these so-called cowards go to kill as many people as possible with gates and lock them, especially schools. The gates at my school are always open. It makes it easy for anyone to go in or out.
Lisa: I believe that our local and national leaders should really consider making schools higher security. Making escape routes or more effective drills. People need to know how serious this is. You say, “Thank God it wasn’t me,” but it would be tomorrow, or the next day, week or month, you never know.
Jjakoba: What I think should be done is more armed personnel at schools, better lock down tactics. Safety zones built throughout the campus and classrooms. Just because you make a law doesn’t mean it will be followed. People everyday find ways around the law. I mean honestly, do you think that someone who wants to kill will be worried about the law against them owning a gun?
Lisbeth: Our leaders should have more security against the people with guns and knives, stuff that could be beneficial to someone trying to cause harm. More security at any public places would be good instead of just having police on the streets.