Kennedy Torch

Kennedy Torch

Letter from the Editors

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Dear Kennedy High School students,

After the recent Parkland High School shooting some people are calling for mental health reforms, while others want gun control, but let’s come together and put opinions aside. Let’s take a stand at Kennedy.

Something needs to be done. In the wake of reforms, walk outs, and rallies we cannot stand by. Kennedy students need their voices heard on pressing issues that come with school shootings. As students, we have rights to voice our opinions, so why aren’t we?

Maybe the fear of being belittled or the fact that it’s not in a student’s comfort zone that scares a person away from speaking opinions. Okay– so maybe you don’t want to participate in a walkout, but there are other ways to use your voice. Talk to your teachers, students, and administration to see what precautions you can suggest that would benefit our community. Have conversations with the people around you.

Real change comes with figuring out how a student could kill 17 people. Whether it was because of the lesser restricted gun laws in Florida or his mental state of health. What things can your state, Congress, and President do?

We think a preventable measure would be to focus on mental health. Mental health is something in our society that is easily ignored or pushed aside, but it is something that is so important.

Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old charged with killing 17 people has been described by students as a loner with troubling behavior who had been kicked out of school.  He has recently lost his mother and was staying with family friends. Now the question is how was Cruz able to attain a AR-15 semi-automatic rifle.

Florida laws allow people to buy assault weapons from federally licensed dealers once they reach the age 18, as the case in most states. Cruz passed a background check to obtain the AR-15. This check looks at ones criminal history and if they have been found “mentally defective” by a court.

The fact that Cruz was able to pass this background check, eventually leading to the murder of 17 people, shows that we need stronger regulations on flagging mental illness during background checks.

Simply having stronger regulations on mental illness is something so easy and preventable. Our government needs to put disagreements aside and decide on a way to instill preventable measures, so something of this magnitude will never happen again.

As students who walk the halls everyday, we should not have fear for our safety.

There are two sides to this issue, but the bottom line is that 17 people shouldn’t have to die in order for us to finally wake up. Just think- that could’ve been you, your brother, sister, or loved one victimized by a mentally-disturbed gun owner.

The question is: how are we going to change the future of America?

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Letter from the Editors