On February 14, a 19-year-old man walked into a Florida high school and murdered 17 students and faculty members. 14 more were taken to the hospital, and throughout the school students hid in closets and under desks as texted their parents the words “I love you” as they feared they might be the next to be killed. The massacre that took place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, was the eighteenth time a firearm has been fired on a high school campus this year. In response, many members of the staff of The Colt agree that regulations on firearms is the correct course of action following the shooting.
Opinions for both sides of the debate are fueled by fear and anger, which has led to a lack of productivity in the actual debate. The gun control issue has become cluttered with bipartisan nuance, and we are currently unable to see the real issue at hand: Americans are dying. More importantly, Americans are dying because politicians who are financially backed by the NRA are controlling the dialogue that floods the news outlets every time a shooting takes place. This is countered by angry democrats who believe they are defending their right to live. We believe, however, that we must move past the debate and quickly come to an agreement before it is too late.
One of the major issues in this country is that current gun laws are not strict enough. The only thing a person needs to purchase a gun at a store is a clear background check. Even if a background isn’t as clean as it should be, anyone can go to a gunshow where background checks are not required. The shooter in Parkland, Florida was able to buy an AR-15 at the age of 18. In this country, it is okay for someone who isn’t legally allowed to drink alcohol to own a military grade firearm, and that is just unacceptable.
Another new suggestion following the shooting has been to arm teachers. We believe that this suggestion is ridiculous. Those same teachers are barely supplied with materials for their classes like kleenex and pencils. Where is the financial assistance for handguns, ammunition, and routine firearm training going to come from? Not to mention, accidents are more likely to happen when a gun is in the home. Imagine what could happen if there was one on the hip of every teacher.
Most importantly to us, students should not be afraid to go to school. Teachers shouldn’t either for that matter. Almost anywhere you go, Arlington High included, there is very little security. This would make it incredibly easy for anyone to walk into class and create another massacre.School should be a safe place where students can go to learn new ideas, not to cower in a corner and be silent whilst fearing for their lives.
The need for stricter gun control is as important now as it was after the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012. It is just as important as it was after Columbine in 1999. We support stricter background checks and a complete ban of automatic rifles for the sake of American safety. Hopefully, with the necessary policy change, this country could become a more peaceful place.