OPINION: Fearing For Our Future

Back to Article
Back to Article

OPINION: Fearing For Our Future

Mathias Wasik

Mathias Wasik

Mathias Wasik


Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






//MANDIRA GOWDA & MOLLY HOUSER//

On Apr. 15, 2019, Colorado schools encountered a terrifying – yet familiar – threat. For the first time in history, schools across Colorado announced a safety cancellation as a preventative measure from what the FBI claimed to be an “armed and dangerous threat.” Since the risk has passed, the future generation of America needs to ask the question: is a perfect future one where school shootings and threats are a norm, and where students need to be taught priority and strategic hiding places because the event of a shooter walking into their school is highly likely?

Mollie Davis, an 18-year-old survivor from the Great Mills High School shooting, writes in an article for The Nation: “We’re not doing [the walkouts] because we want to. We’re doing it because we have to. The fact is, I had my first lockdown drill in Kindergarten, and I was in a school shooting my senior year of high school” (Davis.) Is this the future America views for its next generation?

For many students, school shooting education is as integrated into the curriculum as math class. Schools practice lockdown drills with students, place armed guards in buildings, and some districts are even considering bringing in preventative measures like metal detectors. School administration may have students best interest in mind, and strive to create safe environments for students, but these measures are simply treating the symptoms of the epidemic, not the roots.

Despite seeing an increase in violent shootings, there has been no active legislation proposed by Congress to deter these dangers and make weapons harder to access. Not only has the current administration cut funding to education, they consistently veto any bills designed to improve gun restrictions. Schools do not have enough resources nor the ability effectively prevent a shooting.

In a recent article from PBS, high school students nationwide weigh in on how to solve America’s school shooting problem. “The solution to school shootings is regulation of gun laws, not problems with the Second Amendment,” said Maria, a sophomore in Bronx, New York. “Our government could learn from other countries like Japan, Australia and the United Kingdom. Japan puts its citizens through a rigorous set of tests which includes a mandatory all-day class. From there, they must take a written test, have a 95 percent accuracy on a shooting-range test, a mental health evaluation and a background check” (PBS.)

On the same topic, Mya, a junior from McKinney, Texas, said, “The problem America has is that we give everyone a gun without any mental health testing. We need to be more like other countries and require screenings.” With high schoolers from all over the nation understanding the problem and devising ways to solve it, the current administration must take a stand for safe and effective reform to solve this looming threat.

Since shootings such as Columbine, Sandy Hook, and Parkland, survivors are pushing for gun legislation that will reform both the standards required to buy a gun and gun culture itself. This is exactly what society needs. Reformed legislation should not treat schools like prisons and employ metal detectors and armed guards, but rather, we need gun control.

The problem isn’t just guns, it’s the people that buy them. The only way to prevent school shootings is to prevent dangerous people from accessing guns. Reality is, the guns used in Columbine were obtained legally. “We think three of [the guns used in the Columbine shooting] were provided by the girlfriend of Klebold,” said Mark Paulter, a Jefferson County chief deputy district attorney, in an interview with The Denver Post. “She bought them because she was older. She was 18 at the time. She bought them in November or December” (Obmascik.) The first step the administration has to take is to increase the age for buying guns; no 18-year-old should be allowed to purchase a gun (despite clearing background checks).

Having effective gun control is simply the only solution to a problem that has taken the lives of innocent students. Schools should never be a place of fear, the only solution is to push Congress members to create bills to keep us safe.

Let’s make this a country we can live without fear in.

 

CITATIONS:

Davis, Mollie. “I’m an 18-Year-Old Gun-Reform Activist and School-Shooting Survivor-Here’s Why I Still Have Hope.” The Nation, 21 Feb. 2019, www.thenation.com/article/school-shooting-gun-reform-survivor/

“How Teens Want to Solve America’s School Shooting Problem.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, www.pbs.org/newshour/extra/student-voices/how-teens-want-to-solve-americas-school-shooting-problem/

Obmascik, Mark, et al. “Officials Say Girlfriend Bought Guns for Columbine High School Shooting.” The Denver Post, The Denver Post, 15 Apr. 2019, www.denverpost.com/1999/04/27/columbine-high-school-shooting-guns/