The issue of school shootings is a very complicated one. Gun control seems to be one of the most obvious solutions to this problem, but there’s more that we can do than just that. It’s quite obvious that we need gun control to keep our communities safe, but what else can we do to prevent mass shootings, and more specifically, school shootings?
I’m sure this is a question that everybody, including yourself, has asked. This is a very hot topic right now, and with the recent March For Our Lives event that happened, drawing millions of protesters worldwide, it’s not going away anytime soon. Usually after a shooting, there’s a bit of debate, then that debate dies down.
After the outcries from the survivors of recent shootings, the gun control debate is finally here to stay.
I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to talk to a lot of politically involved students in my district, as well as receive the opinions of many adults. There are quite a few things that schools can implement to help prevent school shootings, but these things are all based in theory. However, I think it’s worth a shot. Personally, I don’t see a point in some harmless program that doesn’t really do all too much in figuring out what actually does work in the fight against gun violence.
The first idea, which is also the weirder one, is a mandatory weapons and firearms safety class. This class would only last for one semester, and would be given to every student at some point in time. I think this would work for second semester seniors, as they’re getting ready to go out and live in the real world, so learning to properly defend yourself can be a very important skill.
The only problem with this is you’re potentially putting the idea that you need a weapon in high schooler’s heads. But since these shootings are happening, high schoolers are very aware of the dangers of guns, and should be taught to be safe around them, and to respect them.
The second idea that we’ve come up with is a short informational video played in class telling students where they can receive help for things like bullying, depression, and other mental problems. There’s already a mandatory video showing us what to do during a school shooting. Why can’t there be a mandatory video trying to help prevent school shootings?
To me, it seems lazy that they can’t take the same approach in stopping these shootings, that they do in preparing us for one.
It’s almost like they’ve accepted these shootings as just something that happens. But we can’t accept this. If we don’t stay consistently outraged at these tragedies, we lose our foothold in the fight. If we lose this fight, it means that more kids will end up dead. Things need to change. From the March For Our Lives mission statement,
“Not one more. We cannot allow one more child to be shot at school.”
Anyways, for the final proposed solution. It’s the most obvious, and the simplest one. Just reach out to people who are struggling. If someone is being bullied, help them. Don’t be a bystander. Don’t be the person who watches and doesn’t do anything. If you want change to happen, it has to start at the bottom. If someone you know seems to be particularly interested in guns, talk to them about it. If push comes to shove, tell an adult. If you really think that someone is planning to commit an act of violence, it’s not snitching, it’s just doing the right thing. If we work together to be kind to one another, we may be able to prevent at least one shooting.
On the other hand, the US government should be ashamed of not taking more action to prevent these tragedies from happening. As long as the NRA is funneling money into their pockets, guns will continue to cause these problems. It’s not our (the students) job to make sure that we aren’t going to die at school. We shouldn’t be worried about that. I should be worried about failing my AP class. I should be worried about giving presentations in front of students I don’t know. I shouldn’t be worried about some kid showing up with an AR-15 and killing me and my friends. This is the America that I, and my friends, have grown up in, but it doesn’t have to be the one that my, and my friends’ kids grow up in.
I think it’s time that we invest in our future. The time for change is now, so let’s get to it.