We should have mandatory gun safety classes in school and teach young people what a firearm is, the tools and parts of the gun and what purposes they serve. Even with one gun in public circulation, there will be a potential but very slim chance of a shooting. School shootings give responsible gun owners and guns a bad name. Gun restrictions will not get rid of school shootings, even if every single student in school had the discipline of a soldier and proper training.
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The problems our society is experiencing right now have more to do with how we treat each other than gun control. We judge people based on their looks, especially if they look sketchy or just different. We see someone who is quiet or a kid who is always getting into trouble, and we judge them without know what they have been through.
Society makes fun of those type of people. As teenagers, we constantly pick on someone until they are down on the ground. You see all of these shows about criminals, and some of them are about murders, and it intrigues us. The real problem is us. The right to bear arms is a fundamental freedom enjoyed in the United States.
Without laws, we are faced with the problem of unashamed maniacs and domestic terrorists. The simplest solution to this complex issue seems to be tighter restrictions and more cohesive background and mental state checks.
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Or at least make it harder to. The same lawmakers are aware of the hundreds and thousands of dollars they receive from the NRA National Rifle Association. Some may wonder how such people came into power.
I have grown up in a house full of firearms and hunting bows. I have had my hunting license since I was in fifth grade. However, many people my age struggle with mental health. Some take it to extreme levels, like taking guns from their home to school and shooting innocent people. As a country, we also need to make it harder to buy firearms.
Only certain guns should allowed to be sold to the average joe. Not only should we add more regulations, but we should add a tax when buying a firearm, like we do for cigarettes and alcohol — items that may bring harm to ourselves or others. There are several measures that could have been taken to prevent the Parkland, Florida school shooting, like taking threats, including social media posts, more seriously. Guns themselves are not evil and do not murder individuals.
They are safe in the possession of a majority of Americans and will never be used to kill children. With that said, a revisit to gun laws is reasonable, including extensive background checks and mental evaluations for those looking to purchase any firearm. Realistically, there will not be an end to school shootings any time soon. Therefore, public schools needs to heighten security now in order to protect those inside.
In some cases, hospitals and banks have security systems that will lock doors; this isolates the shooter and would prevent their travel throughout the premise.
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Some individuals favor solutions that place armed guards in a defense perimeter around schools. Others want to arm teachers. The truth about the Parkland shooting is that it opened eyes and it opened doors. The debate has shifted from petty Twitter fights to actual debates on gun control policy. A wave of voices has emerged and teens are demanding reform. Efforts to normalize gun violence by those in power and the news media have been shaken by our awareness that this violent American plague is anything but normal.
School shootings cannot be blamed on problems of the big city. Parkland is no bigger than my hometown in the Midwest. I think the country is finally starting to notice that it can happen to any of our schools.
Most teenagers today remember the heartbreak after Sandy Hook but have become increasingly desensitized to such events as they occur more frequently. The individuals who commit such heinous acts are given the power — easy access to weapons — to instill fear into school-aged children. They are dubbed as people who are mentally-ill instead of as terrorists. While they are successful in breaking the spirit of many, they will never take away my voice. My tears are quickly replaced with anger.
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But nobody can take away my voice. I will never stop speaking out against the deep injustice of school shootings and a system which has failed its citizens too many times.
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In the aftermath of the most recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida, adults tell us not to live in fear and to go on with our daily lives. Yet, over the last two decades since the mass shooting at Columbine High School, nothing has been done to prevent more school shootings. In fact, access to assault-style weapons has only gotten easier. This unfettered access to weapons has caused us to lose future Olympians, mathematicians, teachers, writers, doctors, astronauts and all those individuals who would one day make up our communities.
Our generation will not forget that our elected leaders have let us down over and over again. It should be harder to get guns or certain attachments. They should be required to take a class to make sure they know how to handle guns. People just need to grow up and deal with the fact that some folks may not be stable or knowledgeable enough to own a gun. The world is safer that way. Plan B would involve improving security at schools and passing stricter gun laws. We can start by preventing anyone under the age of 25 from owning a gun.
At 25, people are coming out of their adolescence phase and becoming responsible adults. Under Plan B, we get our government to step up and find a way to take of the issue. I was 12 years old at the time of the Sandy Hook shooting.
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Hopelessly idealistic and a little naive, I believed that the government, who had to be equally sickened and shocked as I was at the massacre of elementary school children, would immediately scramble to prevent such tragedies from reoccurring. But nothing changed. And then, another school shooting happened. Then another. And here we are now, a nation reeling from the deaths of 17 more students and teachers in Florida, wondering what went wrong again. Our inaction as a nation is — and was — inexcusable.
When the National Rifle Association has donated millions to our representatives, it is no wonder that the many attempts to pass gun safety legislation have been repeatedly blocked. We have allowed greed to overpower our humanity; we cannot have the people who represent us value profit over lives. When politics have become increasingly polarized, it is no wonder that we have not had effective dialogue regarding gun control. Progress cannot be made without communication and compromise; effective gun control and the Second Amendment truly can coexist.
I believe that the best solution to this problem is to increase the level of background checks regarding gun sales and make it harder for those suffering from certain mental illnesses to acquire guns. If a person is viewed as a danger to society, then they should not be allowed to own a gun under any circumstances. I also believe that those with violent criminal history should face much higher restrictions when owning and purchasing guns. However, I do not in any way support creating more total gun-free zones.
The idea of total gun-free zones sounds like a good solution, but how likely is it for a potential shooter to follow a sign warning of a total gun-free zone? Schools should have at least one police officer. They should be able to do whatever they want about not letting in armed visitors, but they should definitely have some protection within the school to stop a potential shooter. I hope and pray that tragedies like this will cease to occur and the lives of American children will be protected.
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