Gun Control, in Light of the Florida Shooting

Gun Control, in Light of the Florida Shooting

Lalia Williams

Last night, when I heard the news–that 17 innocent people had been killed and numerous had been injured at Stoneman High School in Florida–I was very very sad. But I was also angry. Because this has happened so many times in the past. And it will happen again, because our country is in denial, caring more about keeping their weapons than keeping their schools safe.

One year ago, the survivors and families of victims at Columbine High School and Virginia Tech College appealed to the Republican congress to change gun control laws. And today we see what has happened because they did not.

I understand why some people say that we should control “the people and not the guns”. After all, there are specific types of people who, again and again, are the people who mass murder others with guns. But how can we control these people? At Stoneman, people knew the suspect in the shooting, and knew that he was the type of person who might do such an atrocious thing. But they did nothing about it, and (arguably) there was nothing that they could do about it. Since guns are so legal and unregulated in the U.S., it was completely legal when he was posting disturbing pictures of his weapons on social media, and ranting about how much he loved “hunting”.

Personally, I believe that no firearms should be legal in the U.S., unless you are in the military. But I understand that, by the second amendment, people are allowed to own some form of weaponry, whether for self-defense or for game hunting. But here is what we need to regulate: the background checks preformed, and the type of weapons being sold. If someone is expelled from high School due to “disciplinary reasons” (as the shooter at Stonewall was), they should NOT have access to a gun. If someone is posting on social media “I wanna shoot people with my AR-15” or “I wanna die fighting killing ton of people” (as the shooter at Stonewall was), they should NOT have access to a gun. And if someone has a gun for self-defense or hunting, they do not need a rapid-fire machine gun. They do not need the type of gun that can kill scores of people in minutes. And that type of gun should not be sold anymore. Just as we do not sell tanks or nuclear bombs to the public, machine guns should be treated the same way.

We need to change the situations that lead to massacres. Instead of blaming the wrong things and then looking the other way until it happens again, we need to take action now.