Protect People, Not Guns

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Students head out to protest

Students head out to protest

Students head out to protest

Meghan Fennessy, Staff Writer

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We cannot protect our guns before we protect our children.

   This was Florence Yared’s cry for a change in policy after becoming a school shooting survivor at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High on February 14, 2018. She is not the only person calling for a change of policy in our country regarding gun laws.

   She is in fact right to call for change: We need to protect our children and people.

   Brandon Wolf is one person amongst many survivors from across the country that is demanding  change after the countless deaths from a variety of shootings. Wolf survived the Pulse nightclub shooting on June 12, 2016.  He said, “After first graders were gunned down at Sandy Hook, what did you do? Not a damn thing. After 49 people, including my two brothers, were murdered at Pulse, what did you do? Not a damn thing. You plugged your ears and turned your eyes and hoped that we would stop talking. Now we’re here again. 17 people are dead. 14 of them are children. And what did you do yesterday when given the chance to do something about it? Not a damn thing.”

   Our country is in desperate need of gun control. There have been 18 school shootings outside of the United States in the past 20 years. In the United States there have been 18 school shootings since January 1, 2018. According to the online publication Vox, since 2012 there have been 1,600 mass shootings with 1,800 dead and 6,400 injured in the U.S. How many more deaths must occur for politicians to realize this is not a matter of liberal versus conservatives, it is not a case of left or right, it is a matter of life and death?

   As Lorenzo Prado, a Parkland school shooting survivor in Tallahassee said, “What we must do now is enact change because that is what we do to things that fail: We change them.”

   Changing gun laws is possible. It’s happened in Australia.  In 1996 a gunman killed 35 people in Australia. Less than two weeks later, Australia enacted gun control measures, and there has not been a mass shooting since. In South Africa in 2000, the Firearm Control Act was established and the country saw a 13.6 percent reduction in firearm homicides every year for the next five years. Across the world, countries with gun control laws have restricted mass shootings and protected their people. Gun control laws are effective and it is time to put them into action.

   Some argue they have a right to guns and the Second Amendment right to bear arms protects them from any constraints on buying and purchasing guns.  However, someone’s right to bear arms should never be valued more than someone’s right to live.

   Yes, the United States is home to liberty and rights, but it is also home to the most mass shootings in the world.

   Recently President Trump and others have argued the solution to school shootings is to arm teachers. This proposal would not only be expensive, the government would need to pay for firearm training and for the firearms which would, in turn, raise taxes. Worse it’s a highly dangerous proposal for both the teachers and students.

   An armed teachers cannot be counted on to always make the right choice when using a gun on campus.  Also, having a firearm accessible in a classroom could create dangerous situations for both the teachers and students.

   The solution for putting an end to these crimes is taking away access to automatic weapons, guns that are made to kill multiple people in less than a minute.

   With approximately 1,800 deaths by firearms, we need to protect our children and people. Gun control laws in other countries have proven effective in reducing mass shootings. Our country is in desperate need of gun control. The United States has experienced one too many shootings with one too many deaths. It is time to put a stop to these murders, it is time to place a ban on automatic guns in the U.S. The victims and survivors do not want your thoughts and prayers; it is time for policy and change.

 

1 Comment

One Response to “Protect People, Not Guns”

  1. Anonymous on April 16th, 2018 1:10 PM

    Well taking away drugs seemed to work didn’t it? If you ban fully automatic weapons, someone with a strong enough drive to commit a crime of that stature will more than likely be inclined to turn to the black market as a way to obtain a firearm. There is also the simple argument that, if there are less bullets in a magazine, it will be much harder to protect yourself with your firearm, considering you will have to reload at some point. It would be much better to provide mental assistance to people who are emotionally unstable. There are also approximately 2 times as many gun suicides as homicides, which further proves my point of mental help. We don’t need gun control, we need mental health control.

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