How to Put an End to Gun Violence

Courtney Cordoza
Staff Writer

Opinions_Putting an End to Gun Violence_Courtney Cordoza_Flickr User_Sean Ganann.jpg

PC: Sean Ganann/Flickr

On Jan. 23, shots rang out at Marshall County High School in Benton, Kentucky. A 15-year-old male student tragically murdered two students and injured 18. This is a headline we see far too often. This event marks the eleventh school shooting since the beginning of 2018.

After every school shooting, questions and concerns arise over gun control and whether or not it needs to be re-examined. Those who take a pro-gun stance believe that it is our right as Americans to own guns for our own protection. They say it is written in the Second Amendment; the right to bear arms. Yet, the wording and usage of this bill seems far too outdated to justify the weapons of today. The weaponry of our forefathers was not as advanced and powerful as what we currently have in the 21st century.

Guns are best left in the hands of professional security guards, police officers and military personnel. Unfortunately, citizens across the political spectrum, whether they be Democrat, Republican or Independent, cannot agree on a common stance on gun ownership.

Here is a compromise. If a person wants to own a gun, they should have to meet the following requirements. An age restriction of 21 should be the first requirement. If you have to wait until you are 21 to purchase alcohol, you should have to wait until you are 21 to buy a gun; this varies by state. In the state of North Carolina, the minimum age is currently 18. This could possibly help stop school shootings by 18–year-olds who are still enrolled at high school.

The second test should be a mental evaluation. The evaluation should be conducted by a licensed psychiatrist in the person’s state of residence to see if they have a mental health issue that could impair them from using their firearm safely. If they have a severe mental illness that could lead them to use the gun wrongfully, they will be denied ownership.

For the third test, fledgling gun owners should be obligated to enroll in a course on gun safety. They will then learn how to properly shoot, conceal and take care of their guns. They will demonstrate their newly crafted skills through a written test to quiz them on gun usage. Gun owners will take one final test that demonstrates their physical skills using a gun. After they are cleared, they would be free to obtain a license to have their firearm (within reason) of choice.

Although this outlined process can help, it still does not fully eliminate the violence guns can and sometimes do cause. There is always the issue of children and adolescents finding the spot where the gun is hidden.

It is crucial for parents to have a serious discussion with their families about gun safety and the proper use of a weapon. A high number of injuries and fatalities can be avoided if people are properly informed. Guns are authoritative tools that can be released with the pull of a trigger. With that much power held in one hand, it should be held by a person who is capable of lawfully using it.

Along with ignorance to safe gun practices, the media plays a substantial role in our culture and how we view guns. For example, in music, the song “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster The People tells the story of a lonely boy who brings a gun to his high school. It glorifies the tragic event of a shooting, and makes gun violence seem less important. This could be a dangerous message for a teenager who feels ostracized and without another choice.

These depictions show how we need to improve as a society. We often dismiss those who look like disturbed teenagers. In reality, we should not ignore them. They may need help and do not know how to find it. If they do not receive a comprehensive medical evaluation, they could lash out by hurting themselves or others, as seen in the recent string of school shootings.

We as Americans need to have an open dialogue concerning the matter. Open discussion of events like these and why they happen are critical. We need to come together on a local level through community meetings and town halls to identify the problems and solutions. Then, concerns should be taken to the state for analysis. Lastly, the issue could be solved on a national level.

Too many lives have been taken far too soon over these heinous acts. With strict gun regulations, education on firearms and advocating for those with mental illness, we can end the narrative of school shootings once and for all.



Categories: Columns, Opinions

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13 replies

  1. “Here is a compromise. If a person wants to own a gun, they should have to meet the following requirements.”

    This is NOT a!compromise. Per SCOTUS, the right to keep and bear arms is an enumerated right incorporated against the states under the due process clause of the fourteenth amendment. Other rights so situated include the right ro free speech, the right of freedom of the press, freedom of religion, etc.

    For which of these other fundamental rights would you attach a mental health and performance test? Voting perhaps? No, you don’t even want ID for that one, and it’s not even a fundamental civil right.

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  2. If an 18yo is old enough to serve in our military and fight, and potentially die, to protect yours and my freedoms, then that should be the age they can legally purchase a weapon. Remember, our Constitution gives us this RIGHT. It is NOT a “privilege”. And, logistically, having everyone succumb to a mental health evaluation is a barrier and unnecessary impediment not to mention that those that truly DO need mental health services can hardly find anyone to provide them in a timely manner.
    Respectfully,
    John E. Latz, M.D., M.S.
    Catawba, NC

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  3. How about we do the same with the 1st as you want to do to the 2nd eh? You idiots don’t even realize that without the 2nd Amendment you can’t have the any of these rights. Go to North Korea and see what happens when you speak out against Kim Jong Un or ask the women in Iran who just got imprisoned for not wearing the hijab. The problem with you snotflakes is that we can’t fix stupid you have no clue how the real world is and operates. I guess our country will have to be defeated by our enemies so you can learn how good you had it but I really don’t want to have to listen to you whiny little bitches. If you whine then some Kommie guard will shoot you to put you out of your misery

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  4. How about we do the same with the 1st as you want to do to the 2nd eh? You idiots don’t even realize that without the 2nd Amendment you can’t have the any of these rights. Go to North Korea and see what happens when you speak out against Kim Jong Un or ask the women in Iran who just got imprisoned for not wearing the hijab. The problem with you snotflakes is that we can’t fix stupid you have no clue how the real world is and operates. I guess our country will have to be defeated by our enemies so you can learn how good you had it but I really don’t want to have to listen to you whiny little bitches. If you whine then some Kommie guard will shoot you to put you out of your misery. Signed a retired career military combat vet of 3 wars.

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  5. The 15-year-old was already prohibited BY LAW from buying or owning a gun. They were prohibited BY LAW from entering the school grounds with the gun and the ammunition. They were prohibited, again BY LAW, from discharging that firearm on school grounds. They were prohibited, uh, you guessed it, BY LAW from murdering people.

    Your solution: MORE LAWS! When are you and your type going to get it through your skulls. LAWS do not prevent a bad person from doing bad things. To the contrary, they ENCOURAGE bad people to do bad things in the one place they know that law abiding citizens do not have the right to protect themselves: at a gun-free school.

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  6. “Although this outlined process can help, it still does not fully eliminate the violence guns can and sometimes do cause.”
    Guns don;t ’cause’ violence – people do. Guns don’t have brains nor emotions. I wonder if the author of this article has the brains as well.

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  7. The “11 school shootings” number, that you repeat from other sources without checking, includes incidents such as a pellet gun breaking a bus window, an accidental discharge during a training event (no injury) and other incidents where nobody was hurt. Source cited below. This statistic is an effort by anti-gun groups and others to deceive and scare the general public (who will also not check the facts) into clamoring for more gun control. It is not an index of maniacs killing kids.

    Yes, the right to keep and bear arms is a part of the Bill of Rights, and even if you disagree with it, beware of trying to undermine it. When you set a precedent of trashing a right you don’t agree with, you endanger rights that you cherish. The level of technology is irrelevant. If it were, you would not enjoy 1st amendment protection when using your “advanced and powerful” computer, or 4th amendment rights in your “advanced and powerful” car.

    Your unquestioning confidence in government and gun control for addressing school violence is not supported by facts. Strict regulations and training only impact law abiding gun owners, and do nothing to stop criminals and the deranged from harming others. Those intent on killing will find a way, laws or no laws, and will steal or otherwise illegally acquire their favorite tools when they are barred from acquiring them legally. Banning or controlling something accomplishes nothing. We have strictly regulated many drugs, and used heavy-handed enforcement tactics for decades, yet anybody who wants drugs can still easily get them if they are willing to break the law.
    You unconsciously acknowledge the futility of gun control by asserting that guns are best left to security guards and police. But, if gun control worked, then why would they need guns? Even in the anti-gun UK, police are asking for more guns, because the criminals they are up against are better-armed.

    The mental health evaluation is also a terrible idea. Do some serious reading on this, and you will see that many mental health pros are opposed to this because a diagnosis is not a predictor of violence, and only serves to further stigmatize mental illness.

    We have been having an open dialog on guns for a long time, but apparently open dialog only matters to you when you get what you want.

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/school-shootings-2018_us_5a68586de4b002283007ef83

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  8. Good lord, the tyranny that drips from this commies proposal is evil.

    WHY in the world do socialists feel that disarming more victims (no gun zones) , violating more law abiding (gun control laws) , all while protecting more criminals (sanctuary cities) , makes anyone BUT criminals safer??

    I used to think they were merely ignorant or misinformed. But with today’s internet, these willfully ignorant continue to feel that their failed efforts, of the past 20 years, have done anything but get innocents killed.

    Removing gun control laws, in every where but Dem controlled cities, has lowered crimes rates everywhere.
    But the Dim controlled cities.

    What if wrong with those people.?

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  9. Good lord, I guess the writer is willfully ignorant. There has not been a school mass shooting at any of the schools that do not disarm their victims.

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  10. If only liberals would quit disarming the victims (no gun zones) violating the law abiding (gun control laws) and protecting the criminals (sanctuary cities) then we would have a lot less innocents getting shot by people that ignore liberal laws.

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  11. They already tried a policy of only allowing the police and military to be armed. Ever watch “Schindler’s List”? It’s not a work of fiction. Maybe they’ll come for you next.

    What hoops should you be forced to go through before you attempt to exercise your free speech again? Should you be a certain age? Should you be required to have a certain level of education? Should you have to prove your sanity before being allowed to open your mouth or touch a keyboard?

    Either you have a right or you don’t. It’s not provisional; predicated on jumping through certain hoops before you’re allowed what it guarantees. But you’re in luck! There are plenty of countries in this world which share your view. You might consider moving there instead of trying to ruin this one.

    Perhaps your discontent comes from unreasonable expectations of what protections the law can provide. Trust me, laws prevent next to nothing when one is determined to have his way. There are but two effects of any law: 1) it sets a societal standard, and 2) it codifies a punishment for those who won’t adhere to that standard. So good people will see the standard and stick to it. Sadly, that doesn’t prevent violence because they’re not the ones indulging in it. Criminals, on the other hand, will ignore it because they are, after all… criminals. You can’t stop criminals from committing criminal acts with laws, at least in a free society. You can only punish them after the fact.

    Your ideas are at best… misguided.

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