Gun Violence in America | Commentary | – The Southern Digest


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There has been a lot of conversation behind the infamous school shooting in Arlington, Texas on Wednesday October 6th, 2021. The African-American 18-year-old Timothy George Simpkins opened fire in a classroom at Mansfield Timberview High School as a result of a fight breaking out between the shooter and a African-American 15-year-old male student, shown in a video.

Timothy Simpkins was thrown to the floor and punched. A bystander tried to break it apart until Mr. Simpkins pulled out his .45 caliber handgun then fled in a Dodge charger. He was found that same day and charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, injuring four people.

I think I can speak for almost every southern Black household in America when I say, we know not to do this. There is a list of things Black people do, and this was on the ‘Don’t Even Think About It’ list.

Since the beginning of time, we have had a silent code we followed and honored because our mothers, aunties, and grandmothers have taught us self-respect, respect for others, and just plain ol’ discipline. The older Black generation also taught us to “duke it out” using our hands or communicating, and they are still correct to this day. Trying to take another young Black life, when you are also Black, in this world where Black life isn’t valued is immoral and futile.

Furthermore, guns in the vicinity and hands of children are a dangerous, senseless act. Mr. Simpkins and his guardians should be held accountable and questioned on why he had a weapon on campus and in his possession.

There should also be a new weapon policy in place at this high school, and fundraisers as well so that the school can generate money for metal detectors by the entrances. School needs to remain a safe and fun environment for kids and teenagers to learn, make new friends, play, and plan out their future; not a warzone where parents have to wonder if their child will return home unharmed.

On the other hand, Mr. Simpkins is an example, and product, of the almost-nonexistent gun laws America has. Despite the numerous mass shootings we’ve had over the years, the laws haven’t been changed or modified for the betterment of citizens but for the betterment of gun holders. It seems as if it’s easy to obtain a firearm and military-grade weapons.

Something has to give in order for the safety of our children and the future generation is secured. This generation, and the next, and the one after the next depend on our decisions in this present moment.

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