By Cameron Olenick
In light of the recent Florida school shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2018, gun control awareness has become the main topic of discussion in the United States. One side of the argument demands that semi-automatic rifles be banned altogether, while the other side supports the second amendment which protects gun rights.
Aside from the politics, one thing is for sure: something needs to happen so that these tragedies end completely.
The Florida shooter, Nikolas Cruz, used an AR15, or Armalite 15, as his main weapon. AR15s are semi-automatic rifles, meaning they shoot one round at a time, however there are accessories called bump stocks that make the gun shoot up to 400 bullets per minute. Bump stocks are the main problem because they can be purchased by anybody legally old enough, in most states the age being eighteen. This is what was used by the Las Vegas shooter, Stephen Paddock, on October, 21 2018. There is no real need for bump stocks to be legal, however if they were to be banned what would be next? The second amendment was placed into the Constitution to provide Americans with protection in the event of tyranny. If bump stocks are taken away then rifles come next, and after that guns altogether. Let’s not forget what happened when Hitler took away the people’s guns, they could not defend themselves from his tyranny because they did not have protection.
I personally believe that the only way to prevent shootings like these is to strengthen security measures in schools for example metal detectors. Another measure could be to reconstruct schools so that intruders have more trouble getting in and out. Senior Chase Collier has a different opinion on semi-automatic rifles, “I don’t think there is any humane reason for one, besides the military being equipped with them,” said Collier when asked what we should do about AR15s.
Making guns illegal won’t stop people from acquiring them through the black market. Therefore the only thing we can do is get firearms into the hands of people that can protect our students, such as teachers. Many states like Texas, Ohio, and a handful more have taken to training their school staff how to properly carry and use a firearm in the event of an attack. I think this is a great idea and more schools should embrace it. After being asked whether we should ban guns or give them to teachers, Glenelg Senior Nick Croston replied, “I don’t think we should ban guns or arm teachers, I think we should put more Police Officers in schools.” Who better to trust with a gun than a police officer? This is a good idea and would definitely help to increase security in schools.
Guns have been legal in America since this nation was founded. They are not the reason for the tragedies they have been involved in, but rather the mentally ill people that wielded them. We need to get guns out of the hands of dangerous people, and get them into the hands of those who can train to carry them properly.