Pro v. Con: Gun control fixes nothing
This is the con argument on gun laws. To view the pro argument, click here.
Pain, terror, and images of a crazed gunman walking through the halls come to mind when one mentions a school shooting. But will most people ever have to deal with this situation face-to-face? Not likely.
The US Census Bureau reported that 79 million students would be returning to school for the 2012-2013 school year. In the 2011-2012 school year only 15 students were killed from incidents of school violence, including suicide. It is a terrible statistic, but the issue still stands that a mere 15 were killed out of the almost 80 million students that attend schools across the country every day. That’s less than .00002 percent.
It is true that in the past decade the number and fatality of school shootings has been on the rise. But is more gun control the answer, especially in an area such as Harford County? Here hunting and the use of guns are not only hobbies, but ways of life and family traditions.
However, losing family tradition is the least of the problem. School safety is obviously the most important aspect of decreasing the epidemic of school shootings. Schools need to start attacking the source of the problem through an increased amount of preventative measures.
These measures range from evacuation plans to increased police presence in larger schools to, most importantly, the introduction of zero-tolerance stances on bullying. This is not to say that every student that says a hurtful joke should be thrown out of school, but when a serious problem comes to an institution’s attention action should be taken.
Schools should institute zero-tolerance policies, similar to the one started at JC this year. Depending on the severity of the case of bullying disciplinary action is taken in the form of detentions, demerits, or even suspension and expulsion. JC should take the issue farther and pursue legal action if the case is deemed severe enough.
Schools should also increase their resources in counseling, so that kids don’t slip through the cracks. This raises a budgeting issue because not every school can hire more guidance counselors, but schools could institute small group discussion programs like JC’s advisory program.
We should be less concerned with the guns that appear in school shootings and more concerned with the people engaging in such drastic measures. Yes guns are relatively easy to acquire, both legally and illegally, but it is ultimately a human being that pulls the trigger.
These people should be our focus. Schools should be a safe and welcoming atmosphere, not a warzone. School shootings have become a serious problem in this country, but gun control will never solve it.
Bryan Doherty is an Opinion Editor for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com