If you recently picked up a newspaper or turned on to see the news you may have question what is happening in our schools and begin to think whether our schools are still safe places for children. Recent school shootings have set feared in many parents about their children’s safety in our schools. Since last year number of school shootings by students have occurred regularly. On Tuesday February 29, 2000 in Mount Morris Township, Michigan a six-year old boy shot his classmate to death in their first grade classroom. Police reports show that the two youngsters had an argument the previous day.
A single shot was fired inside the classroom at Buell Elementary School around 10 a. m. The young boy said he brought the gun to school to frighten her but accidentally fired a shot. “We’ve had other schoolchildren take guns to elementary schools before but it never went this far with it. “Society refuses to take responsibility by locking up their armed weapons. ” Said by a schoolteacher. Since last year there have been fifteen different school shootings in which many student have died without any reason. Who should we blame for this? Should we blame the parents, teachers, schools or our government?
Before blaming anyone we must hear what two sides of gun control have to say. It is very wise to debate on a topic that have concerned all of us since last few years before making our decision. In doing so, we must answer series of questions. Therefore our group has come up with some questions to which we will try to tackle. Since this is a debate paper we have try to present both side of the issue through our answers. Very first question that arise in peoples minds after witnessing the horrible tragedies is should we have more gun control laws? Many of us differ on this issue.
We have found lots of argument on this question. Proponents of gun more gun control laws feared that until stronger gun control measures are taken there will be future tragedies like horrors that took place at schools all over US. Over 76% of Americans favored more gun control laws (LA TIMES). On the other side people who are against more gun control laws argue that issue of guns is not really the problem. They say more gun control laws wouldn’t prevent future tragedies because people who are intended to harm people are less likely to obey them.
Opponent of stronger gun control laws also believe that government laws on how to store guns and laws banning certain types of firearms deny the fundamental right of self- defense and violate the Second Amendment. Another serious question arise when talking about gun control is should adults be held criminally responsible for their children actions? Few Americans including our president agree we should hold adults responsible, but over 70% of Americans believe that adults should not be held responsible for their children’s action.
The uncle of the six-year old student who shot his classmate was arrested following the shootings. Should the uncle be held responsible for the action he didn’t take? And how about the child, should we charge a six year old student as an adult? Also what causes these students to gun down their classmates? What stressor contributing to these shootings? And what are right steps we should take to prevent the future tragedies? Our group explores these questions in an effort to make sense of what appear to be senseless and avoidable crimes.
We have tried to examine gun violence in schools through the lens of the recent school shootings and explores the role and responsibility of parents, teacher and society as a whole in combating this frightening scourge. We have also created a skit in which each member of our group has taken part of someone and has debated on this issue. Opponents think that stricter gun control laws will not work or stop the violence in the school. School violence is a hard thing to take control of. Gun control laws will not help to make our schools safer.
The gun control laws might help some people to feel better and safe but it will not stop the person who intends to hurt someone. According to the Wall Street Journal, nationwide there are more than 20,000 gun control laws that regulate everything from who can own a gun, background checks on people wanting to own a gun, where it is been purchased, etc. The Clinton administration has created stricter gun control laws, which will increase school safety, but the question is will these laws ultimately save the lives of the children in school?
Guns are more available today than they were in the 1970’s and 1980’s and at that time school shootings were not prevalent as it is today. According to the magazine NEA today, the guns do not create violence in schools, the kids with an attitude towards violence is the major problem. Today, the attitude and violence mix together in the mind of the teenagers. Even if we put a slash on guns than there are other weapons that can kill and more readily available than guns, that can create violence in the schools. As for example, a student with a knife could kill several people before being disarmed.
Bomb-making materials are readily available in stores and information on making bombs is plentiful on the Internet. A student who intends to kill innocent people will find a way to do that violent act even though he or she does not have the access to guns. According to John R. Lott, the professor in law and economics at the University of Chicago Law School states that gun availability has never before been as restricted as it is now. In 1960’s and 1970’s, it was possible for the 13 year old to buy a rifle from hardware store anywhere in the U. S. Rifle were mailed to anybody who wanted to buy one.
It is also a fact that until 1969, the public high schools in New-York City had a shooting club. The students used to bring guns to the school and turned them over to their homeroom teacher or to their coach and retrieve the guns after the school for target practice. The students who were on the rifle team regularly compete in wide shooting contests in New-York City. The most surprising part is that the students who were good at shooting contests were awarded university scholarships. Furthermore, the best-illustrated part for not having gun control laws is from Virginia.
The high-school students in rural areas have a long tradition of going hunting in the morning. The state legislative has failed to enact an exemption to a federal law banning guns within 1,000 feet of a school. They ultimately failed because students often bring guns to the school by putting them in the trunk of their vehicle. It was crazy to send a good student to the prison because he brought the gun to the school. Furthermore, potential victims use guns more than two million times a year to stop violent crimes: 98% of the time simply brandishing a gun is sufficient to stop an attack.
Crimes are stopped with guns about five times as frequently as crimes are committed with guns. In addition to this, not one academic study has shown that waiting periods and background checks have reduced crime or youth violence. Therefore, disarming potential victims (those likely to obey the gun laws) relative to criminals (those who almost by definition will not obey such laws) makes crime more attractive and more likely. Mechanical locks that fit either into a gun’s barrel or over its trigger requires the gun to be unloaded; and locked, unloaded guns offer far less protection from intruders.
The requirements of locks on guns would surely increase deaths resulting from crime. Switzerland has more firepower per person than any other country in the world said by author Steven Halbrook. He also added that Switzerland is still one of the safest places to live. Switzerland has a lower homicide and robbery rate than United States, which has strict gun control laws. Yet, there have no school massacres in Switzerland where kids and guns mix freely. In our country there are 20,000 gun laws already on the books and still we don’t have the answer whether this gun control laws has caused the existing gun violence problem.
Well, good intentions don’t necessarily make good laws. What counts is whether the laws will ultimately save lives. Thus, Guns, clearly, are not the real problem. The strict gun control laws might help make a school safer but there is no evidence that shows that by putting restriction on guns the violence in the school has decreased. The gun control laws have noticeably reduced gun ownership but the result is opposite that each 1% reduction in gun ownership there is a 3% increase in violent crime. The bottom line is that guns do not kill people but criminals do and gun control laws do not control guns but they control law-obeying citizens.
The Second Amendment gives citizens the “right to bear arms. ” Proponent believed that it should have read, “Only adults who meet the requirements may possess firearms,” but instead it means once you are born you can purchase a gun and take anyone’s life. Too many shootings have occurred over the years and the numbers will continue to grow unless we as righteous citizens put a stop to it. Many liberals believe that we need gun control because to many innocent people are dying. No one has the right to take a life away from anyone. Once that person is gone there is no way to bring them back.
Tragedies will occur but we can try to prevent a few of them from occurring by enforcing gun control laws Different factors contribute to violence in our schools. Kids commit crimes for many different reasons. Some see it on T. V. and want to imitate them. Others do it for attention. Some do it out of anger and just don’t care to think about the consequences. We need strict gun control laws to help prevent some of these teens from making the biggest mistake of their life. Unqualified citizens and kids have easy access to firearms. I can log on to Internet right now and purchase a gun without being asked any questions.
The Brady Law was created to prevent some criminals from purchasing deadly weapons. The Brady Law gives a background check. It asks for your residence, prior criminal convictions, age and employment. There is also a ten-day waiting period. Those who need the gun right away just say forget. Many don’t even try to purchase a gun because they are afraid of what will be found out when the background check is done. When the Brady Law was created our murder rate fell by 11. 6%. Since 1989 twenty seven thousand were arrested when trying to purchase a gun due to the background check.
The Brady Law is helpful yet no one tries to enforce it. This law continues to be ignored. Kids can get their little paws on a gun without any hassle. There are several loopholes that give children easy access. Parents are not required to keep loaded firearms out of reach of children. Parents should lock up their firearms. Many times children think that their parent’s gun is a toy gun and they end up injuring themselves or others. Private gun owners can sell guns without background checks at gun shows and flea markets. They do not need to keep records of whom they have sold to.
This creates a big problem when a gun has been found at a murder scene. The Law Enforcement is unable to trace the gun back to the owner. It then becomes harder to find the murderer. Gun manufacturers and stores are not required to lock up their guns when the factory or stories closed. Thousands of guns are stolen from stores every year. If a person needs a gun bad enough nothing will stop him from stealing one but if he knew that they were locked up he would not even try because he would not succeed. Gun manufacturers are not required to make guns that are safer and less accessible to children and unauthorized users.
They have the ability and technology to produce these guns but refuse to produce them. It is inexpensive to create combination locks. In most states, juveniles of any age can purchase assault weapons. Most kids do not have the capability, maturity and responsibility to handle a gun. Children play with them like toys and don’t understand the consequences. Many believe in personalizing guns, trigger locks, more security for schools. Children without access to their parents’ firearms or illegal guns will be less likely to commit violent acts at school.
Guns do kill people according to LA Times, 800 Americans old and young die each year from gun shot by children under nineteen. Another, even stranger phenomenon is the rapid growth of armed violence in schools. It is becoming more and more frequent to find loaded guns at elementary schools. Los Angeles has 300-armed police officers permanently assigned to schools, and a growing number of schools have metal detectors at their doors. Law enforcement officials are more alarmed then ever about the threats that children and their teachers face in learning institutions.
Many troubled adolescents decide to shatter their own life along with those who are their classmates by coming to school with loaded guns and opening fire. These students involve themselves in such acts for many different reasons. A fifteen-year boy wounded six schoolmates over a breakup with his girlfriend. This incident occurred at an all American suburban high school where no one would have thought such a thing was possible. “He’s not one of those trench coat types,” Brandon Bailey, a seventeen year old said.
You do not have to be a certain type to go out and harm someone. Many do such a deed out of anger. “You tell yourself this kind of thing could never happen here, but you know in your heart that’s not true anymore,” commented a student. A gun can kill so many people so fast. In 1998 nine thousand handgun murders occurred in America. A gun should be treated like a vehicle. A person should need a license just to hold a gun and fingerprints should be taken. We all know that if a person really wanted to harm someone they would use something other then a gun.
Just remember that a knife cannot conduct a drive by shooting only a gun can. A person can kill twice as many people with a firearm in just a matter of time. In order to use a knife a person must put a lot more energy into it and can only get to so many. Gun control in schools is a controversial issue in the United States. It has recently become a major issue because of all the school shootings. On one side of the issue, the proponents want zero tolerance. The proponents believe that stricter laws and regulations are needed to ensure the safety of students and faculty members.
Laws and regulations, such as locker inspections, more security guards on and off campus, students must carry see through bags, metal detectors, and criminal charges against the student their parents when a gun is misused. Some believe that children who go on shooting rampages should be tried as an adult. Another solution proponents proposed were new technology devices such as trigger locks and personalized guns. Opponents of gun control in schools believe that stricter laws and regulations are unnecessary. They believe that children will commit crimes regardless if they have a gun or not.
They say that “it’s not the gun that pulls the trigger, but the person behind the gun that does. ” If a child can’t use a gun, then he’ll use a knife or any other weapon. Opponents to gun control in school believe that adding stricter regulations and laws would cost too much money. Regulations and laws would just raise taxes. They argue that money shouldn’t be spent on gun control in school, but on educational programs, school supplies, computers, new technology, teachers, and renovations. In the past two years in the United States there has been an unprecedented amount of devastating shootings and murders in schools.
The unbelievable rate of school shootings amongst children has caused a major concern amongst teachers, students, authorities, and the whole society. From Colorado to Arkansas, to the most recent in Mount Morris Township, Michigan, has caused an outcry from society to make drastic changes in order to protect the children of the future, and anyone else who might get involved. Schools used to be envisioned as a safe environment, where you were free to learn and have fun without any worries. But now in the present time when you think about school you envision fear, school shootings and violence.
As a group we came up with some solutions concerning gun control in schools. We all agree that recently school shootings have become a major issue. And we feel in order to help prevent on going future tragedies certain laws and regulations need to be added. First of all we believe that it should be required that students take educational classes on gun control and prevention in school. Second, we believe all schools should have metal detectors, allowed no lockers, and add more security guards on and off the campus. When a student gets caught with a gun in school we believe he/she should be suspended for a week.
To be reinstated the student must be forced to undergo counseling and take extra classes in gun safety and prevention. When a student fires a gun in or outside of school, we believe they should be tried as an adult. Criminal charges should also be implemented to the owner of the gun which the child has obtained access to. School shootings have been occurring at an unbelievable rate. The big question is why has it there been numerous amounts of shootings these past two to three years? There many factors out there that contributes to the problem.
Kids see violence on television everyday. They see it in movies, the news, and TV shows. The media has glorified violence. Another contributing factor is parental guidance. Plenty of children are left unsupervised, free to make decisions by themselves. While the parents are out working eight to twelve hours a day, the child is left alone to do as they please. Guns are very easily obtainable nowadays. You can buy them off the streets or even on the Internet with no questions asked. Parental guidance and media control is a necessity if we want to see some changes.
Children at young ages are very easily influenced. Parents need to monitor what their children are watching on the television and need to be involved with their lives and interests. They need to keep their children involved with sports and clubs. Parents need to teach their children how to handle certain situations. Situations such as, dealing with a bully, controlling your anger, and all other hostile situations a young child could encounter. Until all the underlying factors are somehow controlled, guns will still be found in schools.