School shooting shows need for change

Published 3:00 am Friday, March 2, 2018

The school shooting that took place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida was a disturbing tragedy. There were 17 lost lives in total as a result of the monstrosity. Parents lost children and students lost beloved friends as well as teachers and coaches. The breaking news was fleeting, but those affected are still grieving and attempting to cope with their devastating losses. I realize that we must be sensitive to this fact but I know change must come by improving overall security in schools and enforcing new gun laws.

Although students and educators are not always recognized, they are among the most important members of our society. Students are the future and without educators there would be no growth. That is one reason why we need more protection in schools through the arming of teachers and staff with guns. This could be an especially good idea for schools that may not be able to afford extra security guards. Ultimately, less money could be spent on training only the teachers and staff that are willing to carry a gun in the event of a school shooter. It should not be mandatory for all teachers to be armed, but the more prepared we are, the less likely we will be faced with a large-scale tragedy like those that happened at Marjory Stoneman, Sandy Hook, and Columbine.

To further ensure the safety of students and teachers, we should pass new gun control laws like banning bump stocks, mandatory background checks with required updates, and raising the gun age from 18 to 21. This would include universal background checks, which would close the private sale loophole like at gun shows and other private sales. All states should require psychological testing before allowing someone to buy a gun. Perhaps the most controversial decision would be banning semi-automatic rifles but allowing the sale of semi-automatic handguns. The handguns, hunting rifles, and shotguns are necessary for protection and are all that is needed for self-defense.

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That being said, on Wednesday during a televised  meeting at the White House, President Donald Trump proposed taking firearms away before going through due process in court. This is an infringement on not just the second amendment, but also the fourth, which protects us from unreasonable search and seizure, and the fifth amendment, which states that no person should be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law. There are gun control measures that could reduce gun violence, but taking away guns from citizens before going to court is not one of them.

It is important to understand that the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have experienced major trauma and loss. We should respect that, in the midst of the extremely hard situation they just went through, they are able to rise above their sorrow and make a change to stop violence. Discounting the views of other people because they are younger or simply because we do not agree with them will never allow for growth on either side. We should realize that, even though students require guidance, there are those that are intuitive and articulate with sound ideas and solutions. Change is required if we want to reduce the amount of shootings and deaths brought on by the evil in this world, because life is too precious to sit back and do nothing.

Madi Holmes