Knight Errant

America needs action on gun reform now

If America had stricter gun laws, mass shootings would reduce substantially.

Over+a+million+protestors+marched+against+inaction+on+gun+violence+in+America.
Over a million protestors marched against inaction on gun violence in America.

Over a million protestors marched against inaction on gun violence in America.

Phil Roeder, via flickr, creative commons

Phil Roeder, via flickr, creative commons

Over a million protestors marched against inaction on gun violence in America.

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The controversy over gun control needs to end. We need stricter laws for gun control now. Small actions are finally being taken––stores such as Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods are prohibiting their stores from selling firearms. However, the number of shootings are adding up. In January alone, there were approximately a dozen school shootings.

I hate to admit this, but whenever I hear about a school shooting, my immediate thought is, “Another one?” and I’ll bet that this reaction isn’t unique to me. People are becoming desensitised to school shootings and instead of thinking “How horrible,” we think, “Wasn’t there one last week, too?” What does this say about our country? Are we just going to allow school shootings to become the norm?

No, it cannot become the norm, and it’s why America needs stricter gun control laws. Our leaders can’t allow the deaths of students to become normal, as if they don’t mean anything. Screenshots of students texting their loved ones for what they think is the last time shouldn’t be trending because they shouldn’t have needed to send those texts in the first place. There shouldn’t have ever been a school shooter instilling fear into the hearts of these students.

School shooters usually have a fascination with weapons and a difficulty controlling their emotions, especially anger. They refuse the follow rules, they are socially withdrawn, they read, write, or draw about guns or violence; they are depressed. They also make comments or actions that suggest violent aggression towards others, and they have a history of using violence to solve problems.

The problem is that people don’t always know if someone displays these warning signs. However, it is known that almost anyone can buy a gun with only background check and a license, and in some states like New Hampshire and Georgia, you don’t even need a license. Think like this: a person needs a special license to drive a bus. They would have to take a test and then pay to get the license. However, with guns, there’s only one test that gives you the license to buy all kinds of guns, and in some places, this license isn’t even necessary.

if we had stricter gun laws, including more comprehensive background checks and a required license to own and sell firearms, throughout America, school shootings would no longer be normal.”

— Sarah Corneliuson

Background checks should be more detailed and look into things like behavior in a work and social environment and behavior towards authority figures, along with a psych evaluation. A license to own a gun and to sell firearms should be required in all states. There should also be different licenses for different types of guns, similar to how there’s different licenses for different vehicles.

After the Florida shooting that happened on February 14, a line has been drawn. The students themselves are protesting and advocating for stricter gun laws and their city officials have been turning a blind eye. It’s been time to take action for quite a while, but now is when America needs to take actual action. I understand that people are concerned about their own safety, but there are other ways to defend oneself without the use of a firearm. Are people so protective of their guns that they’ll risk the lives of hundreds of people in order to own them? Are these lives less than the worth of their guns?

No, the privilege of having a firearm in your home is not worth the lives of these people. Nothing is. I firmly believe that if we had stricter gun laws, including more comprehensive background checks and a required license to own and sell firearms, throughout America, school shootings would no longer be normal, and we’d no longer have to think, “Another one?”

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The student news site of Benilde-St. Margaret's School in St. Louis Park, MN
America needs action on gun reform now