Gage Orr, Sophomore Staff Writer

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill.

This quote came out of World War II, the darkest age of human history. But it still applies to present day.

Now we may not be at a war for the world, but there is something eating away at our population. This is, ironically, us. Humans.

We may not be fighting on battlefields, but we are fighting each other in the streets and homes, and everyone knows it’s happening. But we do nothing. We pay attention to nothing.

According to the CDC, in 2016 alone 14,415 Americans died of gunshot wounds. That’s 4.5 deaths per 100,000 people. The NIH (a government-run drug abuse institute) reported a total of 70,200 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2017. You may not care. You may look the other way. But imagine if it were you: not the person who was killed, but the person who found them.

The news reports it, or you’ll read it somewhere, and you’ll see it so much that you become desensitized. To you it’s just another number. But it isn’t. That “number” is someone’s mother, father, sister, brother, friend, cousin, co-worker, or classmate. That “number” means something to the person who found them.


I remember the day i found my mother dead in her room. It was heroin. It was December 24th, around 3:20ish, PM. I was getting hungry as there wasn’t much to eat, so i knocked on her door. I talked and said that i was getting hungry and asked if we could go to sonic or the grocery store. 10 minutes went by and i decided i would just go in, that i’d rather her yell at me then sit here and be hungry. So i walked in and she was there, lying face down. I assumed she was asleep so i started poking her and saying “Mom”.

Then i noticed the needles on the bed, and that her arm was spotted and a shade of blue. I started pulling at her arm to try and flip her over but she was stiff, and her arm wouldn’t move. But i kept pulling and i eventually pulled hard enough that i saw her face for a second. And i won’t describe it, as no amount of words could describe what i saw. It haunted me for weeks after. When i saw her face i grabbed my phone and i ran out of my house, and i didnt go back into it until the next day.


I, and others like me, didn’t have the privilege of a phone call. We didn’t get to hear a soft voice, telling us our loved one has passed. We found them. We witnessed first hand what the issue of drugs is, and what the issue of guns are. An issue most sweep under the rug. An issue that is widely ignored, and pushed away.

In lawrence, 3 guns have been brought to the school, and two people i knew, people i went to school with for 5 years, were shot, however they are alive. And they are more lucky than two people who were shot in olathe recently, both who sadly died this year. My condolences to everyone who has suffered by the events of these shootings.

Now I don’t know how to solve the issue facing us today, but what I do know is that too many people look at these issues and wave them off, or are just so used to it that it doesn’t affect them.

I hope to make this issue more apparent, and maybe bring it to the attention of someone who does know how to start helping.

But the biggest thing about these events are the families. The children and siblings and parents of the people must accept that someone they love is gone.

The months after and sometimes even before someone passes can be hell on earth. You can have your whole life ripped from you. And you mourn the loss of this person who you may have grown up with, who you confide in, and who may have even raised you alone.

I know the longer you go without that person, the worse you feel. Sometimes you want to go to sleep and wake up and be back to the way it was, and i am sorry to be the one who says that it won’t happen. And there are other days where you won’t want to wake up at all. I know i’ve been there, but think about them, think about the loved one who passed, and how they would want you to keep going. I find solace in those ideas.

But whatever happens, try to follow Winston Churchill’s words

  – “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”