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The Real Solution to School Shootings

By Carter Hanson and Vincent Kershner in Opinion & Politics - featured

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Over the past few weeks, students and teachers have experienced lockin and lockout drills in every class, just in case a school shooting happens. However, we cannot only rely on drills, we must take action and increase gun control to stop the shootings before they even happen.

On the surface these new drills are extremely helpful: “They may help in the event of a school shooting”, said Hunter Gottlieb.

And how can you argue with that? It’s always good to have a backup if such a tragedy did happen. It is critical to have plans if the worst does happen. These drills are proven to decrease the number of people killed in the event of a school shooting.

However, the problem with these new policies is that they do nothing to stop the actual school shootings. They aren’t preventative in the slightest, and don’t attack the core of the problem: the shooters themselves.

In short, I agree with what Jon Rohald said: “It won’t necessarily decrease the likelihood of them, but I think that it will make students and staff safer so that if someone does do that, less people will be directly affected by it”

This statement brings up the core of the issue: how can we prevent school shootings from happening in the US.

First, just to clarify if you weren’t convinced; school shootings and gun related deaths are a serious problem in the US. According to an article published in the American Journal of Medicine in March 2016, US citizens are 36 times more likely to be killed by a gun the Spanish citizens. And that's not including military deaths.

The real tragedy is that there have been 39 school shootings since 2015 in the US with 32 deaths and 60 other people injured. 32 dead and 60 injured. Elementary students, high school students, teachers.

“It’s a systemic problem”, said Rohald.

I think that there is one main way to fix our problem: gun control. Gun control has been proven to work time and time again - from Australia to Austria, Ireland to Iceland, gun control has decreased the number of school shootings enormously.

Take Japan for example, a nation with gun laws that nearly ban firearms altogether. In Japan 1 person dies from gun violence for 1.67 million people per year. The US on the other hand, with their minimal (to say the leased) gun restrictions, have 1 person die to gun violence for every 9,488 people per year.

However, gun control cannot be our only line of attack on school shootings and gun violence in the US, we must also strive to erase the negative environment that drives people to commit these terrible atrocities.

“[We could] promote less violence. Just don’t encourage it as much and look out for it more.”, said Maisey Ehret.

 

It is critical to denounce violence and provide a better place for students to grow and flourish, but the real key to stopping school shootings is taking the weapons out of the hands of the murderers before they kill.

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