By Brittany Pierce

Staff Writer

In Parkland, Florida at Marjory Stone Douglas High School, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz killed 17 people in his Valentine’s Day attack this past Wednesday. The 17 victims included both students and teachers and there were several more injured.  

Cruz had a history of making disturbing violent comments to his classmates, posting violent pictures on social media, and he was expelled from Marjory Stone Douglas High School recently for disciplinary reasons. Cruz’s weapon that he used in the shooting was an AR-15; a semi-automatic assault rifle commonly used in these shootings.  

According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been 32 mass shootings so far in 2018 alone. With the emotional and physical scars still raw from the most recent school shooting in America, the conversation has turned back to gun control.  

Students across campus weighed in on this question concerning the debate: Regarding the most recent school shooting, where do we as a society go from here? What steps do we need to take to prevent this from happening again?  

Jacob Isom (‘21) 

 

The idea that something like this can happen, with a student being able to get their hands on weapons this dangerous and cause this degree of violence is one that doesn’t exist in other nations around the world, and there’s a reason for that. We need to take heed of what other nations have done, where things like this can’t happen because people cannot get their hands on weapons like this nearly as easily. Just today survivors of the shooting held a rally for gun control, and we can’t ignore them.  

The only proven method to sharply decrease gun violence is not combating mental health issues, although that is undeniably important, but preventing people from getting guns in the first place. Of course, we can’t just remove guns from this country, that would completely deny the freedoms listed on the Bill of Rights, but there has to be more rigorous control of who can get guns and what guns they can get.   

Bridget Flanery (‘20) 

 

I don’t want to beat the same drum again but I believe the most logical next step is more gun control. Looking at other nations we do not see the amount of mass shootings where there are stricter gun regulations. Looking at history we see that in the past when everyone had access to guns it promoted the idea that it is okay to go around and harm people who do not agree with us. There needs to be a focus on communication where people are actively listening to other parties, whether that is within the mental health field, between police and citizens or between political parties, we need to have meaningful discussions that lead to action. 

Chapin Kartsounes (‘21) 

 

We, as a society, need to let go of the idea that ‘banning guns is impossible.’ The more time we take refusing to challenge our biases is more time where another mass massacre can occur. I think that a lot of people think this is an issue of right and left, when really, this is an issue of life or death. When the 18th school shooting occurs in a span of two months, we talk, we argue, but eventually, we do nothing. 

As for arming teachers, I have watched both of my parents (both are teachers) dive into our family’s personal budget in order to provide basic things like crayons, paper, and pencils, for their students. I cannot even imagine schools being able to afford to pay for guns for each teacher. Even then, I know many teachers who would be uncomfortable holding a gun. 

We do not need to turn our schools into a war zone. We need to turn them into a place where students don’t have to worry about guns, period.  As a society, it is time to set our differences aside. We can all agree that we want to put an end to school shootings, but we cannot do that without giving something up first {and} taking action. I would encourage anyone who wants to help to look up numbers that they could text and call. There are lists of ‘gun restriction’ organizations that need all the support they can get. Any type of noise we can make as citizens is action. We need to do more.  

 

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