The Dispute Over Gun Control

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The Dispute Over Gun Control

Ruth Tedla, Staff Reporter

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Following the shooting in Parkland, Florida, America has been forced to face a pressing debate on gun control. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School hasn’t been the first occurrence of a school shooting; it also hasn’t been the last.

One element that is different about this incident is the conversation that has been brought to the forefront by the students of MSD.

During the days after the shooting, the students expressed their disappointment and rage with politicians on how they have not made any real solutions regarding gun violence. Their influence was significant in bringing attention to the conversation of gun control in the U.S.

There has been an uproar from people of all ages in calling for stricter gun laws. From banning semi-automatic rifles to toughening background checks to raising the age to obtain a gun license, there are many demands.

The students of MSD haven’t been patient with politicians and their response when it comes to more gun control.

Senior Luke Evans supports stricter gun regulations to create safer environments in schools. “I don’t think it’s worth keeping guns for the right or the fun when so many bad things have come from higher powered rifles,” he said.

Evans, along with other Shorewood students, spoke at the school walkout that was protesting against gun violence. It lasted 17 minutes for the 17 lives lost in Parkland. Shorewood was just one school, with thousands of others, that participated in the walkout.

A core element that dominates this debate is the Second Amendment, which protects ‘the right of the people to keep and bear arms.’ Although there are many supporters of the Second Amendment, there are also those who feel the context of the amendment has changed.

“Back then, guns just shot one bullet per minute, and I think times have changed and our laws should reflect that,” said Evans.

There is then the remainder of the country that believes that firearms aren’t the problem, but that people are.

“I feel like we have a mental health problem disguised as a gun problem,” said anonymous, freshman. This student believes that the solutions should be focused on more background checks looking into mental health.

He doesn’t want more gun laws put in place.

Anonymous believe that when it comes to mental health, prevention is better than cure. He encourages schools to notice students who feel left out and work on integrating them into the community.

“The very beginning of a school shooting starts with a kid feeling terrible,” he says.

With the walkouts and marches, there have been many that have come out in support for more gun control. Those on the opposite side of the spectrum have also noticed this.

“I actually have a hard time sharing my opinions because of the massive group of people that disagree with me,” said anonymous, a supporter of gun rights.

When it comes to what schools can do to protect students, Evans feels that Shorewood is definitely doing its part in ensuring the safety of its students.

“I also appreciate what (Shorewood) has done so far. The doors are pretty bulletproof, the windows are thick, all the doors around the school are locked after passing hours, and the school resource officers are great,” he says.

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