The Student News Site of Gabrielino High School

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

School shootings renew desperate call for gun control

    According to non-profit organization Everytown for Gun Safety, a total of 19 shootings have occurred on school campuses across the United States in 2018 as of Feb. 14. The most recent shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida is the 56th school shooting this academic year. In another study, the organization found that since 2013, the U.S. has been averaging a rate of one school shooting per week; this year alone, there has been an average of one shooting every 60 hours. In the midst of unjustifiable suffering, reinforcements and regulation must be put in place to fight gun violence.

    Gunfire in schools used to be rare and devastating. Now, it is just another part of a rapid and desensitized news cycle. As mass shootings become commonplace in contemporary America, the shock value that once came with these attacks has been lost.

    “There’s a sense of helplessness and hopelessness,” stated Dave Cullen, author of “Columbine,” an account of the aftermath of the 1999 school shooting.

    With each attack, the idea that mass murders are an inescapable consequence of Congress’s consistent lack of action and failure to reform gun control is reinforced. As a result, communities have resolved to addressing the effects of the problem, and in turn, simply accept and normalize it.

    In an interview with technology news outlet Gizmodo, Homeland Security agent Tamara Griffith introduced a virtual reality simulation that is being used to train educators to prepare for school shootings.

    “Teachers did not self-select into a role where they expect to have bullets flying near them,” stated Griffith. “Unfortunately, it’s becoming a reality.”

    Two-thirds of states have required schools to hold active shooter drills in addition to lockdown and disaster drills, according to the Washington Post. At Florida Christian School, students can now buy bulletproof panels for their backpacks on the school website.

    While these safeguards are made with good intentions, they only further perpetuate the idea that school shootings are an inescapable problem faced by modern American society when in reality, the senseless massacre of children is disturbing, horrifying, and disheartening.

    These efforts may mitigate the violence of shootings, but they, in no way, address the crux of the epidemic. Instead, legislation must be put in place and adults must be held accountable to stop the upward trend of school shooting.

    “This happens nowhere else than in the United States of America,” stated Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy to Congress on Feb. 14, “We are responsible for a level of mass atrocity that happens in this country with zero parallel anywhere else.”

    A survey conducted by the Pew Research Center found that 80 percent of all Americans regardless of political affiliation support universal background checks and stronger gun control policies.

    It is the responsibility of lawmakers to prioritize American safety above all else. Thoughts and prayers -offered by the same politicians that take millions of dollars in contributions from the National Rifle Association to continue to disregard calls for stronger gun control laws – do not curb violence, but policies that increase gun control and address mental health do.

    In a study conducted for the journal Injury Prevention, researchers from Boston University, Columbia University, and the University of Texas found that states that spend more on K-12 education, conduct extensive background checks, and invest more in mental health care are those with the lowest number of school shootings.

    Additionally, gun owners must pass a comprehensive universal background check to purchase and maintain firearms. Adults should be conscious of the responsibilities that come with purchasing guns and ensure that weapons are handled with security. Parents must be aware of where and how guns are kept at home at all times.

    It is easy to assert that gun violence is an inevitable sacrifice made in order to uphold the right to bear arms. Although solutions can be made to minimize the reach of shooting sprees, the root causes of the issue must be addressed. In a nation that prides itself on being a thriving free society, it is important to remember that security is just as foundational to America as freedom.

    Donate to The Tongva Times

    Your donation will support the student journalists of Gabrielino High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

    More to Discover
    Donate to The Tongva Times

    Activate Search
    School shootings renew desperate call for gun control