20 April 2018
The safer the better
The most recent and widely known mass school shooting was taken place on Valentine’s Day in Parkland, Florida. A former graduate from Marjory Stoneman Douglas opened fire on his old school killing 17 and wounding many more with an AR- 15. Clearly this is an issue we deal with in America today and it needs to be stopped, this isn’t just the first case of something like this happening. It’s beginning to become a regular occurrence. With all the opportunities, our students are provided access to purchase any kind of weapon, it has become too easy for them to complete an act of terror-like the one in Parkland. Before I decided to write this paper, I conducted some interviews with 3 strangers to better understand what the solution is to stop or preventing these mass-school shootings. What some of them had to say went along the lines of, “it’s hard to judge the protection schools get today because schools in the north are much more protected, whereas in the south, a lot of schools are much more lenient down here.” This student explained his reasoning due to the financial status of all the schools in America. But, just like any other issue we face every day in America, there are solutions to fix them, we must look outside the box.
The increase of school shootings has encouraged this country to create a safer and more effective solution to stopping school shootings. When we first think of what to do when it comes to stopping school shootings, we think of enacting more resource officers and bullet proofing the glass windows. That seems effective, right? Wrong. Schools are meant to learn and receive education, we can’t pretend it’s a war zone. Even after all the incidents, if we act like school campgrounds are warzones it will surely become one soon enough. The real solution is to put a ban on guns and restrict all mentally ill kids from purchasing one. The gun reform debate has been a highly discussed debate for a while now, dating back to 2012 after the Sandy Hook shooting. Due to the increased amount of deaths caused by fire arms, we have begun to question the second amendment of the constitution. Are guns protecting us or are they endangering us? The push to begin a movement that bans all guns has enraged fellow gun enthusiasts. “Gun control advocates, for the most part, want to change laws. Gun -rights advocates, by and large believe they are preserving essential truths that make the country what it is.” (“Why Americans won’t give up their guns”. Oct 6. 2017). This article clearly denounces the fact that gun ownership in America is a problem. Fact of the matter is, people who own a gun in the house are far more likely to be shot dead than ones without a gun. On average, seven children or teenagers are shot every day. Not only would enacting the gun reform law create a safer environment at home, but it would decrease the likeliness of another mass shooting like the one in Parkland, Florida.
The increase of school shootings and casualties has enacted this country to create a safer and more effective solution to stop all school shootings. One issue we could improve on that would decrease the chances of mass shootings, would be to evaluate a further background check. Nowadays, it’s too easy for students to find a loophole around the system and get their hands-on guns. Due to the lack of concern for peoples lives, we have had incidents that only happened in the first place due to a poor background check. Starting with the Columbine shooting which took place in 1999, the two Columbine killers got around the system by using guns bought at a gun show from an unlicensed seller with no paperwork and no questions asked. And for the Parkland shooting, Nikolas Cruz legally purchased an AR- 15 at a gun shop even though the police had been warned about Cruz’s threats many times. At one point in time, Nikolas Cruz was almost charged with assault, but the case fell through and he was never fined. If things were to end up differently, then maybe Cruz would have never been able to purchase the gun due to his records. The problem with Nikolas purchasing the gun is that we need to construct a more personal background check, rather than check for his/her records. Improving the background check system won’t solve all problems, but it provides a more likely chance of preventing shootings like Parkland from happening again.
However, when we bring up the second amendment of the constitution, it states “ the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” They’re right, we as Americans deserve the right to protect ourselves in cases like this. But, let’s take a look at when the constitution was created. The year was 1787. In 1787, the most common used gun was the revolutionary era musket. The Musket had a magazine capacity of 1 and could fire off 3 rounds per minute. The modern day AR-15, which was the gun used by Nikolas Cruz in Parkland, has a magazine capacity of 30 and can fire off 45 rounds per minute. As you can see, there’s a major difference. I’m tired of hearing that just because its in our constitution we should never take the rights of gun ownership from citizens. But, since 1787, a lot has changed in America. Maybe its time for some change to be made to our constitution as well.
When it comes to the final debate of gun reform, we must ask ourselves what’s more important? The lives of innocent children or the right to bear arms? With the increased number of attempted school/mass shootings, it’s fair to come to the decision of banning all guns. The number of casualties and deaths due to fire arms needs to be stopped. We are done sitting back and watching students lives be taken, action must be done.
"After Parkland." National Review, 19 Mar. 2018, p. 11. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A530107101/OVIC?u=midlandstc&xid=64449986. Accessed 22 Mar. 2018.
Rapoport, Abby. "Guns—Not the Mentally Ill—Kill People." Mental Illness, edited by Noah Berlatsky, Greenhaven Press, 2016. Opposing Viewpoints. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/EJ3010154403/OVIC?u=midlandstc&xid=47be0a22. Accessed 22 Mar. 2018. Originally published in Prospect.org, 7 Feb. 2013.
Paradice, David. "AN ANALYSIS OF US SCHOOL SHOOTING DATA (1840-2015)." Education, vol. 138, no. 2, 2017, p. 135+. Opposing Viewpoints In Context, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A518821844/OVIC?u=midlandstc&sid=OVIC&xid=249d99d8. Accessed 26 Mar. 2018.
"Stronger Gun Control Laws Will Save Lives." Guns and Crime, edited by Christine Watkins, Greenhaven Press, 2012. At Issue. Opposing Viewpoints In Context, p://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/EJ3010015248/OVIC?u=midlandstc&sid=OVIC&xid=6094aadc. Accessed 26 Mar. 2018. Originally published as "Ten Myths About Gun Violence in America," LCAV.org, 2009.
Younge, Gary. "Gun Ownership Is a Dangerous Part of the American Identity." Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection, Gale, 2018. Opposing Viewpoints In Context, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/KAKNBU766087799/OVIC?u=midlandstc&sid=OVIC&xid=32875d66. Accessed 26 Mar. 2018. Originally published as "Why Americans won’t give up their guns," Guardian, 6 Oct. 2017.