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The deal with gun control: from school shootings to laws

Wendy Scaletta, Editor-in-Chief

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The recent high school shooting in Parkland, Florida has sparked more debate about an already controversial topic: gun control. Some people want tighter restrictions and regulations for guns, while others believe the issue is not guns, but rather the way students treat one another.

Regardless, a nationwide school walkout was held March 14. Naturally, there are several different opinions about this protest. Some people have been pushing the message “walk up, not out.”

The “walk up” movement is, in essence, meant to encourage students to treat their classmates with respect, discourage bullying, and, as the name implies, walk up to lonely peers and befriend them. While this basic message is admirable, it also implies that school shootings are purely the result of classmates’ actions. It suggests that the students alone are responsible for such tragedies.

Needless to say, it is simply unfair to assert that the students are at fault for the gunman’s atrocities. Sure, bullying very well could have influenced him, but ultimately he is responsible for his own actions. To say that the classmates are the problem is a form of victim-blaming. Bullied or not, nobody has the right to take people’s lives. It is also worth noting that many of the students walking out are also walking up. It doesn’t have to be just one or the other. Students are allowed to want to help their peers while also not wanting to be shot.

Should there be more resources for students suffering from mental illness? Of course. Should bullying be discouraged and eliminated as much as possible? Absolutely. But should it stop there? No.

Right now, military-grade guns are readily available in the United States. These are extremely powerful weapons that are simply unnecessary for such things as hunting and self-defense. It’s one thing to own a pistol. It’s quite another to own an AR-15. Not only this, but almost anyone can legally obtain such weapons. This means that powerful firearms can potentially fall into the hands of truly dangerous people.

Tightening gun laws would not totally eradicate the problem, but it would certainly not be a bad start. There are some people who genuinely want to do harm to others. Why make it easier for them? Of course, stricter laws would not mean an outright ban on guns. No one is trying to take your guns away. All we are asking is that background checks for gun purchases become stricter and more extensive so that people who pose a threat to others will not be able to obtain these types of weapons, at least not so easily.

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The deal with gun control: from school shootings to laws