Should Guns be Banned? Inside the School Edition
Author Adith Thyagaraja
Imagine, walking out of the bus, and taking your first steps toward the school with a feeling of either grouchiness or happiness. As you enter the school, you feel a different atmosphere, filled with learning, support, and the smell of fresh morning air. You see kids huddled together and teachers starting to take attendance. You walk into a classroom with a dark green chalkboard, a seat calling your name, and your friend yelling your name. But then imagine gunshots in that environment. Imagine confusion and students rampaging with fear and no control, like the stampede scene in the Lion King. Imagine the constant sentence of “we are going to die.” You see, when you enter a school, as stated earlier, you either come with a feeling of grouchiness or happiness. But recently, since the Florida school shooting, another feeling has tagged along: fear for your life. The constant gnaw of are you going to live or not haunts us as students. These events all were related to the sale of guns, and this sparked a question in my mind. Should guns be banned?
Now, in 2018, there has been a total of 18 school shootings so far, in a matter of THREE MONTHS! Now, the United States has a big gun problem: since Sandy Hook, there has been 1600 shootings, killing more than 1800 people, and wounding more than 6400 people. Everyday, there is a possibility of any student’s life being taken away by a school shooting. At high schools, 70 people have been killed with 200 wounded! In fact, since 2000, high schools have the highest amount of wounded students! In my eyes, this is downright outrageous, as a student in a high school. Did you know that the US has by far the highest number of privately owned guns in the world? We use these guns a lot, but as citizens, we have to use them with responsibility just like what Uncle Ben said: “with great power comes great responsibility.”
But as a student, I feel the same way you do. I am not trying to scare you. As students, we can really impact the law thanks to being in a country that encourages us to raise our voice with pride. Recently in CSW, we had a walkout honoring those who died in Stoneman Douglas. From that walkout, I learned a lot. I learned that this is more than just us. This is a problem that has plagued us for decades. I learned that I can make a difference no matter what age. I learned that as a responsible American citizen, if something seems wrong to you, you must raise your voice. But overall from my viewpoint, I saw a group of students committed to a cause and wanting change. What we did that day, I think we made the students up in the sky very happy. But this is just the first step in a long process. Do you want to make change? Make your voice heard in any creative way that you can, because I know as one, we can really change this world!
The gun debate has many sides and I want to hear every aspect I can get, so I interviewed some of my fellow peers on if guns should be banned. Charlie Seipel, a freshman, stated that ”guns should not be banned because I believe the problem is the people who know about the kids who clearly have problems and don’t say anything like in the most recent case in Parkland and in the Texas church shooting last year. We need stronger background checks and for people when they see something to say something. Banning guns will just make the process of getting them more sketchy and dangerous.” Nikos Demetriou, another freshman, stated, “ No, because I think that this problem can be solved with stronger gun laws and more regulations around guns.” Andrew Arce, another freshman, stated, “No but the government should have more laws that make guns more harder to buy.” Zachary Zoladkiewicz, another freshman, stated, “No, but military grade weapons should be banned. There is no reason for someone to carry an AR-15 around!”
This is America. No matter what opinions we have, at the end of the day, we are all Americans. America is a country that stands for freedom and opportunity. And our generation… we have the opportunity to take out a problem that has plagued and taken lives everywhere. My conclusion is that at the end of all of this, we are all fighting for the same thing: change. Too long have we seen our brothers and sisters fall to the raging gunfire. Too long have we seen countless pleading of parents for some reform. Too long have we seen many brilliant minds go to waste. Too long have we seen the bright and charismatic America become the fearful and dark America after every school shooting. Change is inevitable. And it’s coming fast.