COLUMN: When will enough be enough?


Rob Le Cates

Kyla Moton is a junior English major and can be reached at 217-581-2812.

Kyla Moton, Columnist

Editor’s note: This content may contain triggering themes such as school shootings, guns, and gun violence. Please view content at your own discretion.

I have lived in America all of my life. My parents were born and raised here and did what they could to provide for my older brother and me when we were younger.

School was always a fun time for me when I was in elementary school. I loved coming to school to see my friends, learn new things, and get away from my chores at home.

This is what children are supposed to worry about when they leave for school for the majority of the day, about five days per week. That was until school shootings started to become more prominent.

My first recollection of a school shooting was the Sandy Hook shooting that occurred in December 2012. I was around ten years old at the time and I was in the fifth grade. I remembered coming home, anticipating going to school the next week because winter break was around the corner.

My mom picked me up from school and took me home, where she watched the news about the school shooting and cried as she held me. At that age, I was still confused as to what exactly went on.

I knew that there was a tragedy, but it did not truly occur to me that these were kids younger than me dying at the hands of a gunman. Someone who did not deserve to even handle a gun for a split second.

The next instance that I remember regarding a school shooting was the Stoneman Douglas school shooting on February 14th, 2018. I was 16 years old and in my sophomore year of high school.

I was definitely more aware of these school shooting situations than ever. Being in high school, it definitely occurred to me that these things happen. I knew people who were victims of gun violence in my city, but a school shooting was not something that had occurred to me that could happen at my own school.

Schools were supposed to be the safest places in the world for children, but not anymore. My high school would routinely do drills for various threats that we could have encountered.

We would do school shooter drills, where our principal would come over the intercom and announce “code red”, meaning that there was an active shooter in the building. We were required to hide in the one spot in the classroom that no one could see through our classroom doors, which had windows looking from the outside in.

What really made it scary was that someone would come around and attempt to get into the room. It felt so real until the drill was over, then it hit me that while it may not have been real for me, it was definitely real for the children and teenagers who really lived through these tragedies.

The most recent school shooting occurred at The Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee. 3 children died along with three adults. We are only three months into 2023 and there have already been 130 mass shootings in the United States, according to NPR.

In 2022, there were over 600 mass shootings in the country. My question is simple: when will enough be enough?

Thoughts and prayers are not enough to prevent these mass shootings from happening. We understand that banning guns is completely unrealistic. But, there should be gun regulation.

Nobody should just be able to pick up a gun and use it without a background check, identification, and proper gun training. Not to mention the number of children finding unsupervised, loaded guns in their homes and harming themselves or others is also on the rise.

Our children deserve a future, our teenagers deserve to see their dreams come to fruition. How many children, teachers, and innocent lives have to be lost before we bring true change about?


Kyla Moton is a junior English/creative writing major. She can be reached at [email protected] or 217-581-2812.