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Action needs to be taken to reduce school shootings

OPINION

By:  Susan San and Gemma Smith

Our country is in devastation in the wake of the Parkland, Florida shooting that took place on February 14, 2018 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The seventeen victims who were killed by the gunman and the fourteen who were also wounded were all either high school students, coaches, or teachers.  Action needs to be taken to reduce further school shootings.

When I heard about this incident, I thought back to when I was eleven years old, watching the news on television right after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. As a kid, I was completely disconcerted about this tragedy–how could anyone be able to shoot an innocent child? How was this person able to obtain a gun? Why aren’t our gun laws strict enough to prevent a man like this shooter from having one in his possession? One thought continuously rang in my mind: that could have been me. I could have fallen victim to a man who abused his right to own a gun.

There have been a number of school shootings in America throughout the year with these two awful tragedies among them. Many families have faced incredible fear and grief because of these shootings, yet not much has been done to stop these recurring tragedies.

The second amendment was originally created to protect American citizens, but in recent years, it has done more harm than good. The amendment does not give a person the right to inflict violence on countless, innocent people.  Sure, there are times when a gun protects an individual who is faced with danger, but when a person uses their gun privileges for a horrible act such as the Parkland shooting, that’s obviously not what the amendment’s intention was for this country.

The laws we have in place right now are  not preventing these tragic events from occurring.  The individual states get to decide how the guns are obtained by the people, but a solution would be to make every state have laws that require extensive background checks. These investigations should help to determine whether or not someone is suited to possess a gun. An assault rifle is a weapon of war–there is no need for an individual to have a weapon that has the ability to kill a countless number of people within seconds.

Mental health is also a big topic within the discussion of gun control. It is not uncommon that some shooters take their own life after committing the act. This is most likely related to their mental health; they are pushed to inflict damage on others’ lives due to the suffering they have felt as well. Background checks would greatly help to check if a person purchasing a gun is mentally stable or not.

Overall, actions can be taken to reduce these school shootings.

Sources:

http://time.com/5160267/gun-used-florida-school-shooting-ar-15/

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/16/us/politics/fact-check-parkland-gun-violence-mental-illness.html

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