• Victoria DuCharme

Opinion of the Week: School Shootings and Developing an Informed Opinion


Media Content Source: GARY WATERS/GETTY IMAGES (https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/mass-shooting-contagion_us_5660717be4b08e945fee4d57

Note: This is not a discussion on gun control. Although it is strongly recommended to discuss gun control within peer groups. A reminder- it's more than acceptable to have disagreements, as long as you're respectful in how you express it.

In light of the devastating school shootings in the news lately, school shootings might be thought that is weighing upon your mind. Maybe you don’t quite know your opinion on it yet, and that is OKAY! It is preferable, perhaps even admirable, to be able to say, “I actually don’t know enough information on this topic to feel comfortable with discussing or having an opinion on this yet.” However, what we do after saying that, is important.

The part I want to stress the most: It almost doesn’t matter what your opinion is or what you think your opinion is. It’s yours. No one can take that away from you and no one should ever try and change it for you. But your opinion should be formed from multiple sources from multiple perspectives. You should form your opinion after at least trying to see the point of views of different people, more liberal or more conservative. Older adults or younger adults. I think we often get caught up with the emotional aspects of a situation, and instead- as difficult as it can be- when we formulate our opinions, we must do so with logic and with thought. Emotions are a great way to start a movement, but it is through logic, how a movement continues or is eventually won.

I believe that as a nation, we also need to focus on providing mental health resources to anyone who wants or needs them, whether in school or the workplace. We cannot control depression, anxiety or bullying, or even psychotic behaviors, but we can control whether or not we offer help to work through them to individuals. If the Columbine shooters, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold had had access to mental health resources, maybe they wouldn’t have done what they did. Of course, we have no way of knowing because school shootings and their shooters are multi-faceted and complex topics. But at this point, can America really afford to reject the idea of providing more mental health resources? I mean, what could it hurt?

#opinion #shooting #mentalhealth