Another chapter was added to the seemingly never-ending United States school shooting saga this past Tuesday, March 20, when an armed student shot two individuals at Great Mills High School in Maryland. According to CNN, this is the 17th school shooting in the United States in 2018 alone, averaging to over one school shooting a week since there have only been 11 weeks in 2018 thus far.
Tuesday morning, a student shot and injured two of his classmates before being confronted by the school’s resource officer, Blaine Gaskill. Deputy Gaskill reportedly told the gunman to “Put the gun down,” and assured the gunman that “[they knew he doesn’t] want to hurt anyone.” However, as the situation escalated, the incident finally reached its end as both Gaskill and the gunman both fired shots simultaneously. The gunman was killed in the crossfire, but Gaskill managed to walk away unharmed. As of yet, it is unknown which bullet was the bullet which killed the gunman, but Gaskill is already being treated as a hero. The Sheriff praised Gaskill for his speedy response, commenting that all of the deputies are trained like this to respond to active shooter situations. The Sheriff even went so far as to say that “you go to the sound of gunfire,” which may or may not be a reference to the school resource officer in the Parkland shooting who resigned after he allegedly stood outside while the shooter terrorized the students, too afraid to take action.
This shooting comes in the wake of a national uprising against gun violence; since the Parkland shooting, students have been conducting walkouts in support of gun control nationwide, with the March For Our Lives coming up this weekend. Regardless, even with political pressure from all levels of government, many politicians have yet to pass legislation. Florida remains the sole state that has passed major gun reform legislation ever since Parkland – you know we’re slacking when Florida is the “progressive” state. In addition, although President Trump promised to take a hard stance against the NRA when it came to the raising the age to buy assault rifles, he recently backed down and stated that he would kick the issue over to the states – a classic pivot.
Now in the wake of this attack, Maryland officials have indicated that they are willing to take action. For instance, Maryland has proposed bills that would allow for more money to be allocated toward safety features in schools, enhanced background checks, “welfare officers” for troubled teens, harsher penalties for gun violence, and research studies to prevent another incident like this. However, since lawmakers are usually all talk, while the adults continue to sit on their hands, the students will continue to be the ones pushing for change to make sure that their state, school, or friends are not the next names on the list.
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