When Hesitance Has a Death Count, it’s Time for a Change

America and its Current Gun Dilemma


Jamie Setzler, Staff Writer

Another Twitter moment filled with first-hand tweets. Another CNN alert on everyone’s home screen and more lives lost. Children, teens, and adults who had no idea that it would be the last day of their lives. Why? All because of an assault rifle in the wrong hands.

Guns are all over America and killing people every day. Recently, the Parkland school shooting has brought the issue of ever-increasing gun violence in this country back into the spotlight. Despite the hundreds of school shootings that have taken place since the deadly Columbine school shooting in 1999 that left thirteen dead, some people refuse to participate in changing laws and amending the Constitution.

A key reason why some people are so against change is because of the 2nd amendment in the American Constitution. While it is valid and was vital when it was written, it isn’t as fitting as it used to be. This was written when assault rifles didn’t exist, and it would’ve been much harder to cause a massacre with one person and one weapon. With everything that has been modified to fit modern times, the 2nd Amendment should be modified too, especially when people’s lives are at stake. America’s laws have refused to change despite the constant change in weapons. The Second Amendment calls for “the right of the people to keep and bear arms”. However, this was written in 1789 and is incredibly outdated since the rifles have greatly evolved since that point in history. We have changed so much but we have yet to change our gun laws and we really should. Of course self protection is important, but why should one person need a whole semi-automatic or automatic rifle?

There are a million arguments that people in this country could debate in hopes of keeping their guns, but when it comes down to it, there’s only one reason needed to start requiring heavier background checks, training, and restricting guns in certain households. That reason? Lives. More specifically, the lives and safety of children. America needs to stop listening to guns and start listening to children asking for security in order to give students the opportunity to focus on learning instead of being haunted by the idea of dying at school. Teens across the country, and even in other corners of the world, recognize a problem. Many of us will have our minds drift off during class because that question pops into our head: What would I do? Will I be part of the next fatality number on news networks?

We find ourselves nervously contemplating what we would do if we were to be the next victim of a merciless murderer who was allowed a weapon meant for war. Where would be the best place to hide? What would be the best place to run to? Would I be able to make it out alive? These are the questions that permeate our minds when we should be thinking about the algebra equation on the board. Danger is the only thing that we can think about because we don’t feel safe with these current laws.

If there were heavier background checks alone, so much more would be improved. After every new shooting, there’s a new story to go with it about the long list of reasons why the carrier should not have been allowed to be in possession of a gun but they were and now there’s a body count. The government should not allow these people to be in the same household as a gun. Some people may consider that a sacrifice, but one child’s life should really be worth more than all the guns in the world.

I am not requesting a total ban or anything extreme. All I am requesting is safety, shouldn’t that just be common sense? That safety can be achieved through putting people who wish to possess a firearm through gun training, a lengthy background check, and maybe even restricting the number of weapons that are allowed in one household. America, I beg of you, please place less value on the importance of guns when you could place that value on the life of children.