It seems as if the headlines have been filled with school shootings and the need for new gun control laws lately. The nation was filled with sadness on December 14th after hearing the devastating news of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Mass killings hold devastating emotions behind them, but I think these emotions were intensified due to the young age of the 20 students, along with six school officials, shot in Newtown, Connecticut. Our nation even rallied to raise $8.5 million for the Sandy Hook School Support Foundation. Yet, since the shooting, we have seen more gun violence. The Taft Union School in California has been another headline depicting a teen’s desire to murder his fellow classmates. Every time I hear about a shooting, especially among youth, I am saddened. Yet, the shootings all make me wonder the same thing, is this an issue of gun policies or deeper? Are the shootings a result of much deeper issues in our modern day youth, or is it simply too easy to bring a gun to school?
These questions led me to investigate the topic more. In my investigation, I have found one thing to stand out more than others. Most of the articles based on school shootings and gun policies are opinion based. Some say these killings wouldn’t occur if guns were not accessible, others say the problem isn’t a matter of violence, but of mental health. All of the articles held points I can support whole heartedly, so it led me to this thought; why does the cause have to be directly blamed on one thing? As Americans, we like to do things quickly and efficiently, and in many cases, that is the best way. In a contrast, dealing with the human mind is not black and white. I do not believe we can solve the violence issues we have seen by simply increasing our restrictions on gun laws, or by implementing more mental health support. The only way to protect our people is to take action on a broad range of potential causes. These actions can be made with government support, an increase in prevention programs, but also by the people. In working for a business which tutors and mentors youth in underprivileged environments, I believe we can have just as much of an impact on a student who may be tempted by violence as any law. By supporting our students, preventing bullying, enhancing student participation, and becoming role models for students, we can help to provide an environment where no one feels a need to use violence.
I am not, by any means, suggesting there be no government control on issues such as gun policies. But why wait for the laws to change when we can start the change today? As citizens of an amazing country which allows us to express ourselves, we are given the power to change social issues if we are willing to work for it. But, much like many of the articles I have read on this topic, these are simply my beliefs. Either way, I am sure we all hope to see less violence in the future.
We want to know what our readers are thinking, so, please, let us know how you feel you can attribute to the issues of school violence!