Opinion: The Power of Five Minutes


Various things can happen in five minutes: athletes can run a mile, you can read this article, listen to your favorite song, or you could talk to your mom on the phone. Oh, and how could I forget: you could be a victim of a school shooting.

Typically, a school shooting only lasts only five minutes from start to finish.

In five measly minutes, your life could change – or end. Here are just a few examples of the many school shootings that have occurred and how long the actual shooting lasted:

  • Sandy Hook shooting started at 9:35 a.m. and ended at 9:40 a.m. 28 people died.
  • Parkland shooting started at 2:21 p.m. and ended at 2:27 p.m. 17 people died.
  • Oikos University shooting started at 10:30 a.m. and ended at 10:33 a.m. 7 people died.
  • Virginia Tech shooting started at 7:15 a.m. and ended at 9:51 a.m. 33 people died.
  • Umpqua College shooting started at 10:38 a.m. and ended at 10:48 a.m. 10 people died.

Our generation has been labeled as the one who lives in fear of one of these shootings happening.

How can America sit back and watch these horrific events become, dare I say it…normal?

Young, innocent people are dying. People who will never see their families again. Never watch their favorite TV show. Never hang out with their friends. Never play the sport they love. Never laugh. Never listen to that song that’s they just can’t get out of their head. Never chase their dreams. Never do anything ever again. I’m not here to propose one grand, all-encompassing solution that will solve all our problems, but I am here to voice that our way to “solve the problem” is, in fact, not solving anything.

So far this year, there have been 33 school shootings. Let’s rewind to the beginning of last year.

Throughout 2017, there were 63 school shootings. If we continue at the rate we’re at now, by the end of 2018 there will be more than double the number of shootings compared to last year, at 132. 

I’m not here to propose one grand, all-encompassing solution that will solve all our problems, but I am here to voice that our way to “solve the problem” is, in fact, not solving anything.”

— Mia Kosoglow

Does this not clearly show that our attempts to fix this pressing issue is only making it increasingly worse?

Furthermore, the solutions that have recently been proposed and implemented in some states, including Utah, Colorado, and Texas, are not working. For example, “Let’s allow the teachers to carry concealed firearms inside schools!” First of all, I must say, what a fabulous idea!

Add more guns to try to reduce the number of deaths due to guns. It makes perfect sense, right?

I guess it would if we were looking to make the problem worse. According to CNN, “the US makes up less than 5% of the world’s population, but has had 31% of global mass shooters.”

Aside from this, there has been a multitude of accidents due to allowing teachers to carry guns.

A teacher at a Utah Elementary School accidentally shot the toilet as she was using the bathroom. The bullet shattered the toilet and sent shards into her leg. Luckily, no children were hurt, and the teacher got to a hospital and was in a good condition by that same afternoon.

In another incident, a professor from Idaho State University shot himself in the foot. Police said the non-visible gun was tucked away in the pocket of the professor’s pants and a student reported it went off in the middle of the class. Again, no children were hurt in the accident and the professor was successfully released from the hospital.

I don’t have all the answers. Honestly, I barely have any answers at all.

I’m just trying to say that the system we have now is not the appropriate one for solving horrendous issues we have laid before us.

America needs to look at every angle, consider all the possibilities, analyze the data, and listen to us, the people, in order to take steps forward. Every time I hear about another school shooting, my heart collapses.

We need to take a stand.

Emma Gonzalez, a survivor of the Parkland shooting, said it best as she concluded her speech at the March for our Lives, ”Fight for your lives before it’s someone else’s job.”