Facing the Reality of a Tragedy: The Epidemic of the American School Shooting

"Children are America’s future. It’s best we preserve that."

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Similar to Columbine, Sandy Hook, and Virginia Tech, another tragedy struck Parkland, Florida at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School this last Wednesday. 17 students and faculty were slain by Nikolas Cruz, a student whose weapon of choice was an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle. This was the 10th school shooting in 2018, not 18th as many news outlets falsely reported, as 8 of them were either suicides on a campus or firearms discharging but causing no injuries or deaths

The root of this horrific issue has been heavily debated between gun regulation, mental illness care, and what degree of either. Many liberals see it as not enough gun control and people being free to kill whomever they please, and having fewer guns in fewer people’s hands is the proper solution. Conservatives, on the other hand, feel as if it does not matter to control guns more, as that would take the guns out of good people’s possession and the “bad guys” would get guns illegally anyway. Additionally, conservatives have pushed more for children telling warning signs to teachers and parents and warning people about these potential dangers far before something tragic may happen.

For myself, this has gone on too long. I understand I’m not the only one in this camp, as nearly everyone in the media agrees with this, but having real action is a necessity. One of the biggest changes I propose is having gun free zones abolished. Replacing gun free zone signs with “There are armed guards on this campus. Enter at your own will” with an image of a man with a gun on it will far more likely deter a potential shooter. People who commit mass murder do not care if they are told to not have a gun. They will not listen, and this has been proven too many times. According to the Crime Research and Prevention Center, from 1950 through July 10, 2016, 98.4% of public mass shootings appeared in gun-free zones, and this number drops only to 96.2% when taken from January 1998 through December 2015. Even USA Today, a left-leaning media outlet, had a recent opinion poll about this issue and a whopping 91.28%, 3,268 out of 3,580 people, voted “Strongly agree” for an article about repealing gun free zones.

In summation, the far majority of people who own guns have not and will not commit mass shootings. The NRA has 5 million members as of 2017, and a grand total of 0 have ever committed a mass shooting. If proper gun safety is taught and there are armed people on campus to protect students, the rate of these mass shootings will fly down. A child’s life is far more important than people’s feelings about telling teachers about a potentially dangerous kid, or hurting the left’s feelings about not having a gun free zone. Children are America’s future. It’s best we preserve that.