Discussing solutions for gun laws

Kassidy Crown

Recent mass shooting calls for new solutions

 

Last quarter, I wrote an article discussing gun violence in America and compared our mass shooting statistics to other countries.

Now, after yet another school shooting on Valentine’s day, it is imperative that we once again discuss what should be considered one of America’s biggest current issues.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida is the latest name added to a long list of schools, venues, concert halls, and other public areas that have found the sights of shooters.
The conversation around this latest massacre of innocent children feels different, though.
Unlike past instances, like Pulse or Mandalay Bay, where the conversation and advocacy for change was swept under the carpet after a week or so, Marjory Stoneman students have continued to push for reforms and change.
While the government sends its thoughts and prayers, Marjory Stoneman survivors are advocating for change and confronting senators.
In fact, shooting survivor Cameron Kasky confronted senator Marco Rubio during the CNN town hall, asking if he would not take any more donations from the NRA.
Rubio’s response was to dodge around the question and say that people buy into his agenda — not the other way around.
Politicians and the President seem set on following their own agendas.
On Feb. 22, just nine days after the Parkland shooting, President Trump went to social media and tweeted out a series of thoughts on gun reform.
While Trump does advocate for comprehensive background checks focusing on mental health and ending the sell of bump stocks as well as raising the age to buy a gun to 21, he also advocates arming teachers.
Stricter background checks and raising the legal age for purchasing a gun are both great steps in the right direction.
Ending the sell of bump stocks, which are devices that allow a semi-automatic gun like the AR-15 used in the Parkland shooting to shoot nearly as fast as an automatic weapon, may be harder than it sounds, though.
Upon searching online whether or not you can make a DIY bump stock, many results come up about 3D printing bump stocks, as well as several blogs that explain how to make a homemade bump stock.
So while Trump can ban the sale of bump stocks, this does not help if people are able to make these devices at a fairly cheap cost.
Furthermore, Trump argues that arming teachers will make schools safer and that if a “sicko shooter” comes to a school, they won’t cause as much damage, as there will be armed teachers ready to shoot them.
But even this argument has its own flaws.
First, an overwhelmingly large number of teachers have gone to Twitter to voice their disapproval of being armed.
They are not confident that they would be able to shoot someone, let alone someone who may be a former or current student.
Secondly, the story of Chris Kyle, the “American sniper” is an excellent example of how prepared an individual can be, but still end with someone being shot.
Kyle was a sniper and Navy SEAL veteran who came back from four tours in the Iraq war as a decorated war hero.
Upon returning home, Kyle spent time helping other veterans adjust to a civilian life.
This included Eddie Routh, at the time a young veteran who had returned home and had been hospitalized twice for mental illness.
Kyle took Routh up to a place where he and his friend, Chad Littlefield, loved to hunt and blow off some steam.
Sometime after the three got there, Routh turned Kyle’s semi-automatic pistol that he had been given on Kyle and Littlefield, shooting them both dead.
This is a striking and very real example of how two highly trained war veterans, having guns of their own while out shooting, were killed by another veteran.
It shows that with life and death, one cannot just bank on teachers taking a few courses in firing weapons and be expected to take a life.
Besides getting over taking a life, a teacher would be expected to be able to react in time and not end up as Kyle and Littlefield did.
Gun control and school shootings are two topics that, unfortunately, won’t be leaving the news anytime soon.
While the conversation and advocacy from the teens who survived the Parkland shooting is commendable, we still have a long way to go to produce well-founded laws, bans and responses to gun violence.