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The Conversation About Gun Control

March 21, 2018

          After the Florida shooting, and like every other shooting that happens, people are asking the question, “do we need more gun control?”

          With 18 shootings already in 2018, and that count growing daily, conversations need to be held about the current climate for gun control. That dialogue is being advanced, though not by enough people. Most everyone in Trump’s administration refuses to address the gun issue in America- or flat out disagrees that there is a gun problem at all. Despite the fact that there were 6,880 gun deaths and 154 mass shootings in 2017 alone, republican lawmakers will not accept this as something that needs to be changed , and instead claim that guns “aren’t the problem.”

          When asked in a debate in 2016 about his stance on limiting access to guns, Trump stated  “I am a 2nd amendment person. If we had guns in California on the other side where the bullets went in the different direction, you wouldn't have 14 or 15 people dead right now. If even in Paris, if they had guns on the other side, going in the opposite direction, you wouldn't have 130 people plus dead.”  Trump, along with thousands of others across the country, believes that the solution to our gun problem is to add more guns. He fails to realize that a single mistake in this situation would result in not protection, but only more deaths.

          This same argument can be applied to the “should teachers be armed?” predicament. An article posted to The Atlantic makes an excellent point, stating “there is little data suggesting that armed school officials have a meaningful impact on student safety. Even metal detectors haven’t really helped reduce violence, and that’s against both the steady stream of more mundane events of gun violence that plague some schools and the annual massacres.” So far, nothing has protected the nation’s students well- not banning guns from schools, using metal detectors, etc., and the suggestion of arming teachers is no different. Besides, there is no guarantee that the educators will be able to take down a gunman, and teachers never agreed to be targets. In an interview with Ms. Thomas, English teacher, she expressed “I didn’t sign up to be a bullet shield for my students. I would, but I shouldn’t be obligated to”, which is exactly what would happen in the event of educators being armed. She also states that if the government wants to give teachers guns, “we need to have a voice in that conversation”, which is not currently happening.

          The most appalling aspect about the gun control conversation is that people are advocating for absurd laws. In the state of New Mexico, and several other states, a child can legally own a rifle or shotguns. Other state’s minimum age requirements are 14 and 16. There is no reason that a child needs to own a gun, yet there are laws for it any way. People can own guns before they can drink and vote, and that is part of the problem. No one is trying to “take away your guns”, as many gun-advocates claim. There just needs to be more limitation of who can have a gun, more thorough background checks, less private gun sales. There needs to be some reform.

          Regardless of opinion, the tragedy in America resulting from gun violence has sparked a bigger conversation that needs to continue. Something in America has to change, or more catastrophes are bound to happen.

 

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