Why “clear backpacks” aren’t the answer

April 13, 2018

A demand for change. A demand for action. A demand for policy. The result? Clear backpacks. The demands of the survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School (MSD) shooting have been heard and supported across the country, yet our schools and policy makers think that ideas like metal detectors, arming teachers, and, most recently enacted at MSD, clear backpacks are what’s going to be effective. There are many words to describe this “change,” but the one most fitting is ‘insulting.’

The students at MSD sat through something that doesn’t even make it on to people’s worst fears list because of how horrifying it really is. They lost their friends and they lost their innocence. The minute Nikolas Cruz walked into that school with an AR-15, their lives and the country changed forever. And you know what? A clear backpack wouldn’t have changed a thing. To answer the cries for policy change with something as trivial as see through backpacks is incomprehensible. The voices of Emma Gonzalez, David Hoggs,¬†Cameron Kasky and Jaclyn Corin are being erased. They’re being forced to settle. But they’re mad. They’re not standing for it. And I love it.

These students give us hope. Their voices are loud and proud and not close to being muted. I’m sick of seeing them being insulted with clear backpacks. Because what is a clear backpack going to do to prevent more deaths? What is a clear backpack going to do to make national change? What is a clear backpack going to do other than just give those supplying them a sense of pride and accomplishment? The notion is thoughtless, insensitive and one dimensional. It’s apparent that it was an executive decision because no MSD student seems to be on board.

Scrolling through Twitter, seeing image after image of students putting signs in their backpacks to protest the new requirement, I was happy that they could take a light hearted approach to it, but outraged that they would even need to. The students have proved themselves as leaders and change makers who are able to discuss the issue of gun control, yet the school still seems them as incompetent. The administration at MSD and the United States government needs to listen to the voices of not only their own students, but the voices of people all over the country who are telling them that what we need is real, change. We need to ban assault rifles. We need universal background checks. What we don’t need is clear backpacks.

The entire logic itself is faulty. If a person is willing to bring a gun into school with the intent of harming others, a clear backpack isn’t going to stop them. Aside from the fact that most assault rifles aren’t able to fit in a backpack anyways, if someone really wanted to bring in a small enough gun, but didn’t want it to be seen, it’s an easy task to hide it among the other contents of the bag. Every single aspect of this idea is illogical and, quite frankly, ridiculous.


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About the Writer
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Alex Brown, editor in chief
Alex Brown is a senior, and is very excited to spend her second year on The Lancer Link staff as editor in chief. She enjoys hanging out with her dog, watching Netflix, going to concerts, giving poems, and hanging out with her pals. She loves listening to classic rock, punk, folk, indie, swing, and soul music. She also enjoys the occasional Broadway show tune. She plans to continue journalism in college, and is determined to win every single journalism competition this year.

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