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Gun control increase needed to boost national safety

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Protesters hold up signs at the March for Our Lives held along Ocean Drive on March 24.

Protesters hold up signs at the March for Our Lives held along Ocean Drive on March 24.

Protesters hold up signs at the March for Our Lives held along Ocean Drive on March 24.

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In the United States, there have been 1,624 mass shootings, defined as four or more people shot in one incident, between 2013 and the Parkland, Florida school shooting on Feb. 14, according to British news site The Guardian. That’s approximately six mass shootings a week.

With gun violence on the rise, it has become increasingly important to talk about the things that can be done to prevent these tragedies, one of which is implementing stricter gun control.

Many people, including the president and the NRA, have endorsed a new proposal to arm teachers in schools. However, this action could make things worse. Students may not feel safer in a classroom knowing that there is a concealed gun that could be brought out at any time. In some cases, it may even make it easier for younger teens to get access to a gun if one figured out where it was hidden.

Arming teachers will create a tense and fearful environment that isn’t necessary in a school setting. Instead of throwing guns at teachers, campus security should be trained to use a gun, or local law enforcement could have more officers stationed at schools.

The first thing that should be done to help solve this uniquely American phenomenon is to take automatic rifles and high-caliber semi-automatic rifles off the market, as there really isn’t a need for them in the hands of civilians.

The most cited material of gun rights activists is the second amendment of the constitution, which reads “a well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” This was written almost 230 years ago for guns that could only be fired two or three times a minute.

The first semi-automatic gun wasn’t invented until nearly 100 years later. This amendment was not intended for the killing machines we call guns now.

Another problem with the amendment is the fact that we don’t have a need for a militia anymore. In 1791, citizens may have needed to keep military-style muskets to form a militia, but in America today, we have a military and local law enforcement. Citizens no longer need to stockpile these kinds of military-grade weapons.

The most common reasons to own guns include, hunting, recreation and above all, protection. However, all of these can be achieved without the use of these powerful weapons. These types of guns were made for killing people, not hunting, recreation or protection.

The legal gun-buying age should be raised nationwide to at least 21. If people under 21 can’t be trusted to make drinking decisions that could kill them or others, then they shouldn’t be trusted to make gun-buying decisions that could do the same.

Lastly, the steps required for purchasing guns, including background checks, should be increased. Anyone who wants to purchase a firearm should go through an in-person safety class with a test administered at the end and receive a certificate for it.

The addition of the class will help give the government extra time to perform a more thorough background check on any potential gun consumer. People with a history of violent behavior or serious mental illness should not be allowed to buy any type of gun.

Gun control has become very important in recent years because of the epidemic of shootings. If we act now, we can prevent lives lost later.

The Waldron Street Journal is written and edited by students of Flour Bluff High School and they are solely responsible for its editorial policy and content. Viewpoints expressed are not necessarily those of other students, faculty, or the administrations or school boards of the Flour Bluff School District.

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Gun control increase needed to boost national safety