The recent school shooting in Florida has captured the public’s attention, by being one of the biggest losses of 17 dead, and many wounded. The sad thing is? It’s not the first shooting but it is one of the largest casualties of the history of school shootings. This has sparked a debate about gun control, with the survivors of Stoneman Douglas High School speaking out and pushing for stricter gun laws. Specifically, banning all guns. When I first heard of the shootings, I was not surprised but felt fearful and nervous as I walked towards my school. I began to think of situations where a shooter would come in the halls, and wondering if I could survive that. Then the students from Parkland rallied and demanded for change, I gained hope that preventive measures would happen to stop any more shootings. While I agree with the thought, I don’t think completely banning guns would solve the problems, as people might need guns for a different purpose like hunting, and it would make people having a harder time transitioning with a ban. Bans usually can increase the sales of guns, and by banning them the guns would be brought in the U.S. illegally. But having intense background checks, banning certain types of guns, and raising the age of purchasing guns.
Gun control laws has been debated ever since the first major school shooting of Columbine High School. However, these debates and decisions seem to held back in the wake of other major problems that the U.S. is facing; but school shootings are on the rise, there has been at least 18 shootings since 2018, in the U.S. alone. That’s 3 months in the year 2018, and other countries like Netherlands have only had one or two in the past decades. Why is that? Well, those countries have passed tighter gun control laws, which prevent these shootings. Politicians should push for tighter laws, or leaving the law loose for owning guns would leave a destructive path with guns in the wrong person hands.
Now recently, with the Parkland students pushing and rallying for stricter gun laws, it seems that new laws will be passed and enacted. Just recently, the students have been giving speeches and rallying for the new laws, and are attracting nationwide attention. However there has been oppositions, from politicians that are NRA supported and the NRA themselves. Instead of realizing that it is necessary for more harsher measures to constrict the ways of obtaining a gun, the organization is suggesting for looser laws. It’s outrageous for even saying that, and after the Parkland students speaking up and urging for strict gun laws. Plus, it’s not just the students thinking that way, 66% of Americans want stricter gun laws in the latest poll, the highest ever since the polls started after Sandy Hook. Bottomline, America has to take action now to create change for the better, to have a world where there are no school shootings.
I am a high school student, going to a place that was meant to be safe. But now with shootings on the rise, there needs to be more through security measures of these kinds of dangers. So to start off, background checks. Background checks to prevent most mentally ill or unsuited people from purchasing guns, and can monitor those who present a risk to others. Even if background checks may seem exhausting and long, We can see their effectiveness in countries like Japan. Japan has a system where they take a written test and take class, then going to the hospital for a drug and mental test. Afterwards, they get interrogated by the police to see if there are any criminal records and such. Not only do people go through a background check, they must record where their gun and ammo are in their house, and the police inspects the gun once a year, and they must retake the test every 3 years. The outcome? Japan has nearly erased gun deaths, with a total of 6 in 2014, unlike the United States with 33,599 shootings. Learn from Japan; intense background checks to see if they qualify for owning a gun, frequent gun evaluation, and more tests for people to take in order to see if they're qualified to own guns. Even if some say that these measures won’t be effective, look around the world and observe.
The gun used in the Parkland shooting was an assault-style rifle: an AR-15. These types of guns are used for war, as it can literally turn bone into dust, with high enough energy and is 3 times faster than an handgun. And along with bump stocks that can make the gun shoot faster, it’s a deadly and terrifying combination. These types of guns and bump stocks should be banned throughout the United States, and it has absolutely no reason for being used here. Keeping such guns in the U.S. will cause more deaths in the future; more shootings and a more unsafe environment. Although the numerous support of banning assault-type weapons, politicians are uneasy to do a such thing. Instead, they’ve backed new ideas, by raising the age from 18 to 21 to legally owning guns.
One good thing that came out of this whole situation on gun control laws is the Florida legislation approving a bill that would impose a 3-day waiting period of purchasing guns and raising the age from 18 to 21. Even before the bill, Walmart raised the age to 21 of buying firearms and going imposed a rule of going through background checks. The bill also makes improved and more reliable security measures in schools. Also banning bump stocks, this new bill has restricted gun regulation. Raising the age is a good call, with most people out of school at that age. After all, people are not matured at 18 to 20 years old, and most likely at that age school is the least of your problems. Potential shooters out of school and graduated in some way means a less risk of school shootings in high school.
With gun control brought to national attention, it’s time for change for the generations to come, in order to live their lives freely and safely in their schools. Stop hesitating and speak up against oppressive forces that halts the progression of tighter gun laws. We don’t need a world that fear of gun violence would be prominent in all of the students, looming over their heads constantly like a dark cloud, and that unnecessary blood to be spilled. Now is a time of change, and to act on it. We must take action and keep students safe from harm.