The Leopard

We Want Gun Reform

Students+attend+the+National+School+Walkout+at+the+Capitol+in+Salt+Lake+City+on+Friday%2C+April+20%2C+2018.+April+20%2C+2018+marks+the+19th+anniversary+of+the+Columbine+High+School+massacre.
Students attend the National School Walkout at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Friday, April 20, 2018. April 20, 2018 marks the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre.

Students attend the National School Walkout at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Friday, April 20, 2018. April 20, 2018 marks the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre.

Deseret News

Deseret News

Students attend the National School Walkout at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Friday, April 20, 2018. April 20, 2018 marks the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre.

Meya Smith, Editor-In-Chief

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Seventeen lives lost in the Parkland, Florida shooting within six minutes and twenty seconds on February 14, 2018.

Fifty-eight lives lost in the Las Vegas shooting within ten minutes on October 1, 2018.

 

Twenty-six lives lost in the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting within five minutes on December 14, 2012.

 

Thirteen lives lost in Columbine shooting within forty-nine minutes on April 20, 1999.

 

Approximately 15,549 lives lost due to gun violence in 2017.

 

 In Utah, there are reportedly more lives lost due to gun violence than car crashes. Currently, “Utah does not prohibit the possession or transfer of machine guns although a person under age 18 is prohibited from possessing a “fully automatic weapon,” which includes a machine gun. Any person who transfers, in violation of applicable state or federal law, a fully automatic weapon to a minor is guilty of a felony” says the NRA-ILA on gun laws. Further, “It is important to note that Utah is one of seven states that does not have any restrictions regarding automatic weapons” as stated on gun.laws.com.

 

The thing that many who support the Second Amendment get confused when they hear gun reform is that we want to take their guns away. However, many wanting gun control are simply pushing for more restrictions to ensure that less guns get into the wrong hands. To take guns away would be unconstitutional, however, the Second Amendment states the the militia is to be well-regulated. It is obvious that Americans have not regulated these weapons enough.

 

Students walk into a classroom and scan for a safe place to hide. They imagine what they would do if ever a gunman were to walk in. Students have become customized to this kind of thinking because public shootings are normal, gun violence has become normal in America.

 

One suggested ‘solution’ to school shootings is to supply and train teachers to handle firearms. Here’s why that won’t work. When students are asking for gun control and you present them with an idea that involves more guns, it seems as though you are aiming for irony. Supplying teachers with guns will give teenagers more access to the danger they are trying to avoid. Further, where is the funding coming from and why couldn’t it be put to better use?

 

Many shout that guns are not the problem, instead it’s mental health. So here’s an idea, why not take the money that would be used to arm teachers across the nation, and instead use it to hire more school psychologists and counselors. Take more time to talk about mental illness and how and where to get help.

 

Even then, though, it only solves half the problem because schools are not the only place where lives are taken by gun violence. It happens in stores, movie theatres, clubs, and homes. Which why there has to be  change. There needs to be more control. This means harsher training for handling, required background checks every time, a more restrictive age limit, and home atmosphere checks.

 

Enough is enough.

America’s youth is the future, they will be voting, and it’s time you hear their voices.   

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