More effective gun laws can mitigate gun violence

Innocent children and teachers deserve better


Arielle Chin

Staff writer Arielle Chin writes that strengthened gun laws are important to prevent the cycle of violence in America.

Arielle Chin, Staff Writer

Since 2018, 119 school shootings have taken place in the United States. This year alone, there have been 27 school shootings, according to an NPR article. The most recent attack took place at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on May 24. As a result of this shooting, 19 children and two adults were killed and 16 individuals were injured. Offering thoughts and prayers to these families is not enough; action must be taken to enact immediate change to combat gun violence. It is extremely upsetting that the United States has become accustomed to dealing with school shootings.

Compared to other countries, the United States has the most school shootings due to guns being so accessible. One of the biggest flaws to current gun laws is that guns can be bought at private sales and sold by unlicensed dealers. According to Everytown, an organization which advocates for gun control, “This loophole enables people with felony convictions, domestic abuse restraining orders, and other people with prohibiting histories to buy guns with no questions asked.” 

Keeping a gun at home for personal safety reasons is a valid reason for owning a gun for personal protection. However, in doing so, adults are indirectly contributing to the likelihood of gun violence taking place. The safest way to protect a school from gun violence is to avoid keeping guns in the household. According to this 2021 Northeastern article, “More than one-third of adolescents (ages 13 to 17) say they could gain access in less than five minutes to a loaded firearm kept in the home, and half could gain access in 60 minutes or less.” A Washington Post database found that “the median age of the shooters is 16.” Once a child sees that their household has a gun, curiosity can lead to dangerous situations. 

According to a 2019 article from The Conversation, “School shooters such as the Parkland shooter and the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooter were inspired by the Columbine school shooting because they “idolized” the assailants.” The Columbine shooting has become a mold for many school shooters who use it as a template to carry out their own shooting. 

In 2014, the FBI conducted a study on active shooter incidents occurring in the US between 2000 and 2013. “The copycat phenomenon is real,” said Andre Simons of the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit. “As more and more notable and tragic events occur, we think we’re seeing more compromised, marginalized individuals who are seeking inspiration from those past attacks.” 

Although it is difficult to mitigate copycat killers, the media should minimize the focus on the assailants and leave out detailed reports of the shooting. Citizens have the right to be informed about shootings, though detailed information about how the killings occurred should not be accessible to the general public. It can be used as a mold for potential mass shootings in the future.

 According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3,500 children and teens are shot and killed every year due to gun violence. Even though a vast majority of these deaths are not in schools, gun violence is still happening in homes, suicides, and even accidents. This number should alert people that by carrying a gun, there is a high risk of negative outcomes. People do not deserve to have their lives taken away from them and their families, especially at schools where they should feel safe.  

In order to protect the lives of children, communities need to work with legislators to enforce better gun laws by petitioning for change. With more effective gun laws, children can attend school and live in a world where they won’t be afraid of going outside. Plans need to be put in place to keep schools safe for children and faculty.

The nation needs to wake up and stop ignoring the harm that guns are causing to innocent people. Having stricter gun laws initiated by individual states is also necessary, schools should be a safe and comfortable environment for all members of the community as well as homes and neighborhoods.