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Gun Violence and My Stance on Control

As a country, I would say every week we are getting more and more numb to violence. Mass shootings have become a regular tragedy in America, and as a citizen, I feel completely defenseless against them. I feel as a 21-year-old, I should not be afraid of what happens every time I am out of the house. But in the current state of the world, I do not even want to study abroad anymore.

The latest mass shooting Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fl. has left the students and citizens of America demanding change. On February 14, 2018, nineteen-year old Nikolas Cruz of Margate, Fl. opened fire in the Parkland high school, killing 17 people and injuring 14. On a day that is meant to be full of love, Valentine’s Day 2018 was just another headline massacre for Americans.

In response to this tragedy, President Donald Trump stated that a practical approach to combat these possible shootings would be to train and arm teachers. As a country that has always committed to making our schools free of violence and weapons, the President wants to fill them with firearms.

“‘If you had a teacher who was adept with the firearm, they could end the attack very quickly,” he said, stating that schools could arm up to 20% of their teachers to stop “maniacs” who may try and attack them,” said Trump, which CNN reported on February 22nd.

It is clear that our country has undergone a cultural shift where these mass shooting are now beginning to seem the norm, and with good reason. Kids can no longer go to school and think of it as a safe-zone and music-lovers can no longer go to concerts without the potential shooting. Between the Sandy Hook shooting, the Pulse Nightclub massacre, Las Vegas, and now Parkland, safety is no longer a real concept in this country. Too many guns have been the problem for years. And now President Trump wants to put more out there.

On the level of simple-logic, President Trump could possibly make sense. Give teacher guns and give schools a fighting chance. But this idea is not realistic. It’s not safe. And it’s not smart. Teachers are those who are supposed to help children grow and learn. They provide a safe classroom environment. They show preschoolers right from wrong, teach high schoolers about safe sex, and encourage their students to be the best people they could possibly become. And arming them will destroy all of these qualities.

“I am totally against arming teachers. Not only are we not qualified, we have multiple jobs as it is as educators that spans far beyond the subject matter that we teach so why entrust is with that too? I know teachers who cannot use email correctly and we should give them a firearm to operate? No way. I can only hope that the Parkland shooting will be a catalyst for change. We thought the horrific events of Sandy Hook Elementary would affect change and it hasn’t. It will be the voices of the younger generation that will make a change and hopefully the old politicians will be fazed out of Washington. We need to stop taking money from the NRA because they run the whole damn political system. Trump is a waste of a president who is led by money only,” said Trista DeFilippis, performing arts teacher at High Tech High School in North Bergen, New Jersey.

Not only is it dangerous to arm a teacher, because any four-year old could find a weapon and fire it by accident, or any mentally unstable high school student, or even a member of the faculty. Putting more guns in schools is not only risky but also stupid.

What schools need are not armed teachers but better security. The government should make the necessary moves to train and hire more responsible and trustworthy security, put in metal detectors as well as cameras all over school grounds. If anyone can just walk into an elementary school and shoot at innocent kids, then the problem lies in the security. The problem also lies in gun legislation, but it seems like the country will not be getting anywhere on that issue in the remainder of Trump’s presidency.

Olivia Grasing is a journalism student who aspires to work in the fashion/lifestyle industry.
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