Gun Violence: Enough is Enough

This past Sunday, students and parents returned to the high school in Parkland, FL that just eleven days before was a murder zone. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was just the latest victim of today’s all too common school shootings. It seems like we have become numb to these events that keep happening without the establishment of stronger gun regulations.  A New York Times article reports on how many students were left feeling “empty” and “dreaded returning.” Despite their fears, they maintained a strong sense of community, wearing shirts that signified their refusal to let the horrific event of February 14th destroy them.

Photo Credit: The New York Times

From the beginning of our great nation, we have always been in favor of giving up some freedoms in order to promote the overall safety of our citizens. I don’t see any difference between environmental regulations, laws that require us to wear our seat belt or drive the speed limit, and gun regulations. Many people argue that the Second Amendment explicitly states we are allowed to carry guns; however, this does not mean that we need to. The founding fathers who wrote the Constitution outlining our laws could have never accounted for the advancements in technology that exist today. They likely would not have expected everyday people to be armed with semi-automatic weapons, because let’s be real, who needs to protect themselves with an AR-15?

An important subject, the notion of teachers being armed, has been brought up, specifically in a tweet by our President. I’ve been hearing a lot of ridiculous ideas that schools should just step up their arsenals.  Equipping our educators with weapons is a scary notion. These people went into a career to help the youth. They never signed up to be trained to defend their students with powerful weapons. If that was their aim, they would surely just have sought to work in a line of defense. In addition, children don’t know how to handle guns. If guns were to be brought into the classroom it would take a long time before this practice became normalized. The number of accidents that can be predicted as a result of children accidentally finding these guns were they to be allowed in classrooms, is terrifying.

Photo Credit: Twitter

The facts already show that something needs to change. A study published in the American Journal of Public Health(AJPH) led by Michael Siegel, a researcher at Boston University’s School of Public Health, found a correlation between gun ownership and the rise of firearm homicides. His study found that as gun ownership increased by a percentage, so did the homicides from firearms by 0.9%. If we know that more guns mean more deaths, why are we still waiting for stricter regulations?

Photo Credit: CNN

Things are not going to improve if we don’t do anything. Each time a tragedy occurs, we react and send our thoughts out to the victims, but then it passes. We need to keep the conversation going if we want to see progress. We can’t wait for it to happen again because chances are that it will. I really don’t believe that more innocent people need to die before we stop being stubborn and move towards a common goal of protection.

Cover Photo Credit: Los Angeles Times

 

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