Abigail Risser

Staff Writer

In 1787, the constitution was written and signed promising many freedoms to the people of the new nation, including the second amendment—the right to bear arms. During the era, one of the more advanced guns would have been a flintlock, which held one bullet at a time and took even highly skilled individuals about 15 seconds to reload. Today, semi-automatic rifles such as the AR-15 are outputting rounds of bullets within a minute.

Labelled as a “sport shooting, hunting, and self-defense” rifle by the NRA, assault rifles such as the AR-15 have been presenting for the majority of mass shootings that have occurred in the United States. Despite the horrific massacres performed by these weapons, the second amendment still is being clung to in a defense against the growing support for gun control.

Despite the overwhelming loss of lives, I, as well as many others, have wondered how someone could stand behind keeping these types of guns legal in the united states? Why hasn’t our government taken great measures toward working to make sure another shooting doesn’t happen again?

I have heard many arguments supporting our beloved second amendment and maybe you, the reader, are reading this just to scoff with disgust at another “liberal hippie” article trying to persuade their audience that guns are bad. You might even be saying to yourself, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people”, but I urge even the most cynical readers to quiet your opinions and listen the points I would like to make.  

One of the biggest claims among those against stricter gun regulations/bans is that firearms are needed for safety and self-defense, as well as believing that arming school teachers would be best for the prevention of school shooter deaths. Now I would like to look at this from a logical perspective. First of all, if someone breaks into your house, most likely it will be difficult for you to get to your gun safe, unlock it, get your gun, and load your gun without the intruder arriving to you first. The only way for that to work best is if you have your gun loaded and ready in somewhere like a nightstand, which would mean that you have your gun in an unsafe location—easy for anybody to have quick access to, not simply yourself.

Additionally, on the topic of arming teachers, at first thought, that may seem smart. The more you think of this idea, however, the more flaws arrive. Let me explain: members of the military and police force go through extensive training when it comes to guns. With that in mind, there are still casualties of even the most trained gun holders, cases men and women who were the best but were not fast enough to retrieve their own guns before being shot dead. Furthermore, I talked to a high school teacher (asked to stay anonymous) on the issue and her response to being armed was, “I chose my career so I can share what I love and be a positive role model for the youth in our nation.  I did not choose to be educated and trained to be a security guard or police officer and in no circumstances should I have to be carrying a weapon to my work place.”

I am aware that the greater majority of gun owners in the U.S. are law abiding citizens who would most likely not use their weapons in destructive ways. But people crack; someone doesn’t have to have a criminal record to be the next killer behind a gun. Teens break into gun safes. The only way to keep another mass shooting from happening is to stop it at the root. So yes, people kill people with guns, but guns give way to death in numbers high than anyone should have right to.

Since the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting in 2012, there have been 239 school shooting injuring/killing over 400. Not only that, but 2017 marked a high for number of school shootings (15) as well as mass shootings in general (345) (Manella, 2017, Patel, 2018).  Already, there have been eight more school shootings in this new year, including the most recent shooting at a school parking lot in Florida. Every day when we go to class, a movie, work, any setting with a large number of people, there’s the risk that some individual has gotten hands on a deadly weapon and has come to the point of being ready to murder as many innocent people as they can. Students ranging from college to kindergarten have to face this reality that someone may enter a classroom with a gun and are taught how to delay death as long as possible through ALICE training. How many more lives must be ended until better action is taken?