Gun Control: Possibly One of the Most Foolish Ideas Ever

Staff Writer: Michael Brown

 It’s hard to write articles like these in this type of setting. You never know how far you can go before crossing the virtual line of “Yeah, you can’t say that in the school newspaper.” However, I think this is an issue that definitely needs to be addressed, especially when geared towards high school students.

It’s no secret that mass shootings have happened in the United States, and they have happened quite frequently, whether they be in Charleston, Sandy Hook, Sutherland Springs, Las Vegas, Parkland, etc. It is incredibly sad, and it is not something that should happen, ever. When these things do happen, they bring with them sadness, grief, but eventually, and inevitably, debate. “What can we do to make sure this does not happen again? It shouldn’t be this hard, right?”

kyla kashuv

Parkland survivor and 2nd amendment activist Kyle Kashuv meets with FLOTUS Melania Trump PHOTO CREDIT: @FLOTUS on Twitter

The answer is no, it should not be that hard. I think we, as a country, society, government, whoever you choose to blame, make it harder than it really needs to be. So many people will shout until they’re blue in the face, “Take away their guns!” and it’s just not that simple or easy. There are plenty of reasons gun control, in my opinion, would be just a terrible idea, and not even the slightest solution. The biggest one, to me, as well as the most logical, would be the fact that laws do not apply to criminals.

It has always blown my mind. I’ve always been confused about this glaring hole in the argument for gun control. When someone shoots someone and murders them, they are committing a heinous crime, one that is far worse, and would come with much worse consequences than the potential crime of owning an assault rifle. What could possibly stop a criminal from breaking that law, when their intent was to kill? I imagine the killer saying, “Well, I was gonna go shoot some people today, but since the law says I can’t buy a gun, I guess I’ll have to give up.” It just isn’t logical.

WHS junior Bryce Hunter agreed, but also added, “Making it harder for them to get the gun will help deter them from committing the crime that they were [going to] commit with the gun.” He later went on to say, “If for some reason they can’t just go in and buy a gun, and they have to go through more of a waiting period to get it, maybe they’ll have more time to think about what they’re [going to] do.”

I just don’t think the potential criminal would change his or her mind because they had to wait for a gun. I highly doubt it’s a knee-jerk decision to go and do something horrible like that. It seems like something that would have had to have been planned far in advance.

vegas

Concert-goers in Las Vegas flee as shots are fired. 58 people were killed at this country concert in October 2017. PHOTO CREDIT: David Becker, Getty Images

I also asked an unnamed Woodstock High School junior about his thoughts on gun control as a whole, and he said, “One of our rights was to bear arms, because England took [them] away, right? So we should be keeping those rights…so that if the government ever [gets] big then we [can] revolt against them.”

This is another interesting point of view. Our government is already extremely “big.” It’s scary to imagine how much control they would have over our society if guns were taken away. What would be next? I fear we would end up similar to the society George Orwell portrayed in 1984, which would obviously be awful for everyone.

Many people also overlook the mental health aspect of mass shootings. According to Grant Duwe, director at the Minnesota Department of Corrections, “60 percent of mass public shooters have been diagnosed with a mental disorder or had demonstrated signs of serious mental illness” before the shooting.

People will debate this by saying, “Well, if he or she wasn’t able to purchase the gun, this wouldn’t have happened.” But who’s to say this person wouldn’t just do the same thing with a knife? Are we going to ban knives? Come on, now.

One thing that has been brought up is the possibility of arming teachers. I think that could work. It’s obviously not going to prevent someone from showing up with bad intentions, but they will have an extremely hard time carrying out their plan, being that it would be 100 people against 1.

An unnamed WHS junior disagrees, saying “I do not believe that we should fight fire with fire and I don’t want to be scared of going to school,” and, earlier, “…even highly trained police officers get scared and shoot innocent people.” I’m not sure how likely it is that a teacher accidentally shoots a student, but maybe you don’t want to risk it? To me, it seems nearly impossible.

arming teachers

A school in the Callisburg Independent School Distric (Texas) makes visitors aware that some teachers armed PHOTO CREDIT: CNN.com

And, really, the proof is in the pudding. If you take a gander at cities with the strictest gun laws, they typically have MORE gun violence issues than a city with looser regulations.

According to White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, in the city of Chicago, which has some of the strictest gun laws in the United States, more than 4,000 people were victims of gun-related crimes in the year 2016.

The state of Maryland also has some of the strictest laws in the country. However, in Baltimore alone, the city recently deemed by USA Today the most dangerous in the United States, 343 people were murdered in 2017.

Another unnamed WHS junior had some thoughts on these statistics; she thinks that these cities have these laws because they are necessary, more than anything else, adding that “diversity” and “cultural issues” could cause some issues or tensions. She also mentioned that drugs are very bad in cities like these, and that “People on drugs can think irrationally and make bad decisions with guns.”

Sarah Sanders

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders talking to the press; this is when she mentioned the Chicago stats PHOTO CREDIT: Carolyn Kasper, AP

It’s really interesting, too, because a lot of mass public shootings occur in “gun-free zones.” So many of the instances I mentioned previously, (Parkland, Sandy Hook, Las Vegas, etc.) were all in these “gun-free zones.” In fact, aren’t ALL schools considered “gun-free?” That’s kind of ironic, isn’t it? What will happen if we make our entire country a “gun-free” zone? According to the Crime Research Prevention Center, “gun-free zones” have been the target of 98 percent (!!!) of all mass public shootings. That’s an absurd number.

sutherland springs

26 people were killed at Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church in November 2017 PHOTO CREDIT: AP

Another one of the biggest problems, if not the biggest, is that we have taken prayer out of schools. It’s no coincidence that, as time has gone on, we’ve slowly taken Jesus out of our schools, and the number of shootings has gone up.

No amount of gun control laws or regulations would have as big of an impact on the violence in schools as much as bringing back daily prayer in the mornings. The school systems have drifted away from God, and that is a huge problem. If we can just invite Him back into our schools, things would change.

So, really, this doesn’t seem like a debate. The choice could not be any more obvious. Gun control policies would have many holes in their logic, and they would give more power to our already powerful government. Most of the mass shootings we have are committed by people deemed mentally ill, and a STAGGERING percentage of mass public shootings take place in “gun-free” zones.

Also, some of the most dangerous cities in terms of shootings and violence have some of the strictest gun control policies. Plain and simple, they just do not work. Time and time again they have failed. The best possible first step would be to bring back prayer to schools and let God back into our kids’ lives. If we do that, it will be a giant step in the right direction.

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