Opinion: It’s time to listen — students talk about guns

Opinion%3A+It%27s+time+to+listen+--+students+talk+about+guns

Myriam Alcala, Review Staff

Feature Photo By: Izzy Honey – On the national walk out day after the Parkland shooting earlier this year, many Rangeview students, staff, and parents protested gun violence and the effect it has had on schools. In this photo, members of the Rangeview community hold up signs that say stuff like “enough” and “never again”. 

Columbine: 15.

Virginia Tech: 33.

Sandy Hook: 28.

Parkland: 17.

Santa Fe: 10.

Rangeview: 0

From 1999 to the present day, there has been an influx in mass shootings — specifically in schools. The ones listed above have been the most deadly — having a death toll above ten — but there have been hundreds in the United States, according to Vox.

In 2018, there have been 65 school shootings throughout the nation.

After every tragedy, the debate stirs up once again: pro-gun vs. anti-gun. Instead of coming together to find a middle ground on an issue that has flooded the news, political parties are pinned against each other on the basis of their ideologies.

But the truth here is clear: The gun doesn’t care.

A bullet can’t tell black from white, male from female, Republican from Democrat; so, why are guns still such a controversial topic?

Instead of listing the facts and the arguments on both sides, which you can just Google with a simple search of “gun debate,” it would be more beneficial to: 1) find the common ground in regards to the root cause of this uniquely U.S. issue, and 2) give the microphone to the students.

While Republicans blame Democrats and Democrats blame Republicans, another gunman enters our schools.

On November 2nd, Rangeview experienced its own threat that left many traumatized.  Many victims claim there’s life before and after a school shooting, a past life you can never go back to. Again, students are the ones being effected –students should have a voice. (Myriam Alcala)

Beyond the sides, opinions, and stances here is what it comes down to:

    • School is meant for learning; it’s meant to be a safe space for today’s children.

 

    • In the wrong hands, guns can cause a lot of harm.

 

    • Other factors do contribute to these massacres –i.e. mental health.

 

  • And most importantly…

Everyone’s life is valuable.

Junior Montserrat Roman said, “Seeing how guns have affected schools, it makes me second guess my safety.”

Students feel fear; yet, people still ignore what they have to say.

Kayla Jean, junior, also added, “The United States has had a lot of school shootings; I feel like nothing has changed […] I feel unsafe.”

Many Rangeview students agree that being a responsible gun owner shouldn’t automatically stereotype you as the “enemy”. However, guns do pose a problem in which the status quo –the state of the country right now –is not solving.

We need change.

Again, gun owners are not necessarily the issue, it’s the easy attainability some individuals have that contribute to these shootings.

When –and only when –both sides can see this, the issue can finally be resolved without causing mass chaos or even more violence.

A Vox research video supports this claim by putting into perspective the reality of gun violence in the United States compared to other countries. The number of public mass shootings from 2000-2014 (not adjusted to population size) in the United States is 133. Germany comes in second with merely six.

When population size is adjusted, the US still ranks first; Finland, second.

Along with this, the research also explained how before 2011, public mass shootings that resulted in death happened every six months on average. After 2011, they happen every two months, or every 64 days.

Above is a chart that highlights a very scary fact: the US has so many guns. And although this can be proven to not be the issue, the way we handle it has been linked to the violence we see. (photo provided by Vox)

The number of guns a country has does not matter if it is handled correctly, but here is also an interesting observation: 

This chart shows various gun ownership requirements developed countries have, as you can see the US has only one requirement: the right to bear arms. (photo provided by Vox)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The requirements of owning a gun in other countries vary from having a license, registration, reason for purchase, safety training, safe storage, and the right to bear arms.

The United States’ only requirement is the “right to bear arms.”

See the problem?

The problem is not guns, it is not the people who want guns; it is not even the amount we have — the problem is how easy it is to get one.

Abiding to second amendment right and having more requirements are not mutually exclusive, so why do we act like it is?

This was the general consensus students had at Rangeview:  

Junior Alex Semere said, “People should be allowed to have guns, that’s their amendment right. But, I do think there should be more strict gun laws […] it’s easy for people out there to get guns.”

We can all agree that there is a problem: gun violence; the solution is right in front of the country’s face. How long will it take for action to be done? Until every student and every school, has experienced the violence of a gun that easily made its way to the wrong hands?

It should not take 65 school shootings in one year,

It should not take 133 in the course of a few years,

One every 64 days, to take action.

“We can’t just ban guns,” said junior Jaid Knutson. “We should be able to protect ourselves as we need as long as we are found responsible. I think that the whole ‘responsibility’ part has been forgotten, a lot. And that’s why it has become such an issue in our country.”