Students continue to die while gun control is debated as an issue

Students continue to die while gun control is debated as an issue

Elina Villamure and Mackenzie Hooker, Staff Writers

What’s the answer to the gun violence that has been threatening, frightening, destroying, and killing people in schools? There are so many ideas that run through the human mind, yet no action has been taken to address this problem. So what are the possible solutions and more importantly, what is the most effective solution? 

One solution could be to look deeper into mental health and make accessing mental health services easier. It is a common thought that people who take part in gun violence in schools are not mentally okay. These people obviously need help, and they should have easy access to help. For greater accessibility help, schools need to incorporate more ways to get help. In some schools, there are not enough counselors and therapists for the number of students. A mental health article on gun control from UConn Today mentions an alarming ratio, “Current ratios are already twice what they should be, with one school counselor for every 1,200 students.” This is not enough to help students with their mental health problems. However, at the end of the day, it is up to the individual to decide if they want to use the opportunity to get help. Although this is a probable solution, it is not the most effective because you can’t help someone who does not want help. 

Another popular solution that is talked about is making every school a bulletproof safety zone. There is this idea of making a spot in the classroom that the students and teachers could barricade in that would keep them safe because it is all bulletproof. This idea is valid, but whether or not it would be efficient is questionable. First off, it would take a while to incorporate this safe place in ALL classrooms. We can’t pick and choose classrooms that would incorporate this shelter because then we are picking and choosing who lives, so all classrooms will need this shelter. This also seems like a “quick fix” that wouldn’t solve anything in the long run. Amy Klinger from an NPR article on school shootings says, “So having a fancy mechanism wouldn’t have changed anything. So I think that’s the problem with buying stuff. It makes people feel better, but it actually makes your school less safe because it creates the illusion of safety when you don’t really have it.” Secondly, it is important to consider how expensive it would be to add these safe bulletproof shelters in schools. Not all schools have the funding to be able to bulletproof parts of their classrooms. Now, it is a matter of the schools with more money will have the higher opportunity to walk out of a school shooting untouched, meanwhile, the schools with less money are out of luck. How fair is that? Is this really the most effective solution to put an end to school shootings?

Arming teachers is another possible solution that has been talked about. This is a solution that is very controversial and for good reason. The idea of this solution is that teachers are guarded and have protection on them to be able to protect themselves and the students. By having a gun on them, they could potentially take out the shooter and save lives. However, let’s look into this deeper…what teacher is okay with an armed weapon? What teacher is able to pull the trigger on a student who decided to bring a gun to school? The EducationWeek article on gun violence states, “Armed adults frequently mishandle their guns in schools. Arming teachers wouldn’t decrease risk to students- it would increase their risk.” No teacher signs up to have a gun in their classroom or use it they sign up to educate their students to the best of their ability and help develop them for adulthood. Think about it, what if the teacher accidentally leaves the gun unattended and now a student has a hold of it, how is that safe? Having a gun in the classroom makes it a more uncomfortable and dangerous environment, regardless if the teacher is the carrier or if they are even capable of using a gun. There are other more safe ways to approach gun violence in schools that do not involve arming the school teachers. 

The most probable solution for success to end school shootings is simply stronger gun control laws. Does everybody seriously need a gun? I know that there are people we all know that should not own a gun. How can school shootings happen if guns are less accessible? It is safe to say that the less accessibility to guns, the less the probability of school shootings. AFT President Randi Weingarten states, “The answer to gun violence is not more guns; guns are the problem, not the solution.” Weingarten couldn’t have said it better. If guns are the problem and that is what is killing students and teachers in the school, then isn’t the most ideal solution to remove the problem which is to remove guns? I know it is commonly argued that “people kill people, there is a person behind the gun.” However, we cannot eliminate people, so let’s eliminate the weapon that is killing people.