Last week in Parkland Florida, a former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School walked into the freshman building and used smoke grenades to start the fire alarm and lure kids out of class. He then proceeded to fire shots at students fleeing in the hallway. A total of 17 students and staff were murdered and a number more were injured in this horrific event.
This was the 18th school shooting this year in the United States. Why are school shootings a thing in the United States, but nowhere else in the world?
Many argue that this is because just about every other first world country has strict gun laws. Take Australia for example, in 1996 there was a mass shooting that became known as the Port Arthur Massacre. Weeks after the massacre the country passed strict gun laws making it extremely hard to purchase a firearm. Since then Australia has not experienced a single fatal mass shooting, a shooting in which five or more people are killed, according to usatoday.com. According to motherjones.com, since 1982 there have been a total of 72 mass shootings in the United States. This is significantly higher than any other country in the world.
In order to receive a gun in another country a person usually must go through several different steps including strict background checks, safety training, and have a good reason for wanting to purchase the gun. Even having the reason of wanting a gun for self protection is not liable in some countries.
This is the first school shooting where students are taking a stand. Not only in Florida, but nationwide high school students have staged walk outs to protest in favor of gun laws. Some of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas students have become public figures on social media and have been seen in the news giving speeches about gun laws. They have called out supporters of the NRA and already a number of large businesses have cut ties with them. These young people are making a mark and they will be able to vote soon.
The problem is that the U.S. is not like any other country, the right to bear arms has been a big part of this country since not too long after the country was founded. Even if the United States attempted to make stricter gun laws it would have to be passed in every state which could be nearly impossible especially because states already have different gun laws,; some stricter than others. And even if it did happen it would most likely take many years to take full effect. Although this idea is far from reality if it has the chance to make things better, to meaning children can go to school and feel safe, shouldn’t it at least be considered as a possible solution?
Shootings have become the norm in America and it is sick. Nothing has changed, and it continues to get worse because barely anything is being done and it will continue to happen until changes are made. I am not saying gun control is the solution to stopping this altogether, but it could definitely help.