School shootings are among the most horrific events ever to plague the United States––and they’re on the rise according to CBS. Students and parents alike have seen some preventative measures being taken and some pushing for more effective solutions. Unfortunately, many lives have already been obliterated from gun violence.
Compared to other countries, firearms are an unusually large part of American society. Recreation, hunting, and sport are only a few activities in which guns are permissibly (and often enthusiastically) sold to citizens as young as eighteen through legal channels. When gun shows and auctions are integrated, the regulations and background checks fall to near non-existent levels according to Governing. In some states, this means that a person well below eighteen can acquire a firearm.
Students across the nation–largely stemming from the most recent attack in Parkland, Florida––have stood up and spoken out on the topic. Demanding immediate results, thousands of high schoolers have descended on Washington, D.C. to distinctly plant their cause in the heart of American legislature.
A few private corporations have taken notice and enforced their own new rules––without any government intervention. Walmart, the nation’s leading seller of firearms, will no longer sell any gun to an individual under the age of twenty-one. Dick’s Sporting Goods has followed Walmart’s example.
The ideals of the BSM editorial staff align with not only preventing school shootings, but with thwarting their catalysts. While we acknowledge that a stricter, more effective form of gun control is necessary, forming a cohesive plan to realize those ideals takes expertise and a certain knowledge which we, unfortunately, do not have. What we do have is a passion for the safety of students and a call to federal government and politicians to take immediate action. Many politicians claim to be working tirelessly to stop such scenarios from reaching schools or other areas of potential crises, but the influence of money and political power has tainted the views of many, making a possible solution seem impossible. Senior Delaney Tarr, a student who survived the Parkland, Florida mass shooting relays this sentiment in her call for action: “The only reason that we’ve gotten so far is that we are not afraid of losing money, we’re not afraid of getting reelected or not getting reelected, we have nothing to lose. The only thing we have to gain at this point is our safety.”
As an interim plan, many schools have developed procedures such as the A.L.I.C.E. method which BSM has chosen. Such strategies are implemented into schools to have a system which keeps the most people possible safe and aware. A truly grave realization was made recently as alleged Parkland High School shooter, Nikolas Cruz, used the school’s prevention plan information to carry out an even deadlier attack. Nevertheless, in such dire circumstances, it’s a risk worth taking for most school administrators.
It’s not merely up to school administrations to solve this systemic issue. Those who possess the most powerful authority on the matter are not only those that citizens elect into office, but the citizens who unite themselves. It’s our job as citizens, and current or future constituents, to educate ourselves on the facts and various opinions of gun reform, engage in open discussion, and then push for the ultimate good––the safety of innocent individuals and children in schools. And lastly, politicians should place their own agendas aside and listen openly to the consensus of the citizens.
As we strive for moral actions in a time of crisis, confusion, and death, it’s important to remember that “thoughts and prayers” from those in power, without subsequent action, are meaningless and distract from the true problems. As James 2:17 states, “Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” The true tragedy of this situation would be a failure to form a united front and realize that without implementing prevention methods, we cannot create a better future.