Editorial: Is it time to amend the right to bear arms?

The Editorial Board

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The shooting in Parkland, Florida felt painfully familiar to gun control activists across the country: innocent lives lost, tragedy met with apathy, and shouting on both sides of the aisle who fail to make any real progress.

This time is different. This time, we are not simply gawking and frowning at the pained faces of the shooting victims. We are hearing their roars of power and anger, and we need to be listening. We need to be listening to their perspectives — which are unparalleled by any of the chaotic chants from the global peanut gallery — and we must fight actively for gun control in the United States.

The country collectively cried “never again” in 2012 when Adam Lanza killed 22 students and teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, but we, as a nation, have yet to make any real progress on that front in more than five years’ time. Not only is this lack of action embarrassing on an international scale, it is almost viciously lukewarm and indifferent on behalf of our lawmakers. When people are dying in violent droves on American soil, change should come. Americans are dying. Where is our change? Are the deaths of young people, your children, your cousins, your cherished and beloved, not enough?

Simultaneously, the defeatist ideal of “if we could not spark change when children died, no change will come” is just as disheartening. Believing in gun control and battling for it are two different things, and America should be doing the latter. The unjust and heart-wrenching deaths of kindergarteners and teenagers alike should only provide more motivation for a fight, not a resignation. Change does not come in groveling; it comes in action.

Change, of course, is not always characterized by restriction. Some call for arming teachers in response to the Parkland shooting. As high school students, we strongly encourage a different solution. School is not made safer by doubling down on weapons, it is made safer in ensuring very few people could even manage to get onto campus grounds with one. Our student resource officers, people trained and in the industry of protection, should be carrying weapons. Nobody else.

Gun control is a dicey issue. It deals with complicated questions regarding our Bill of Rights and how to approach a centuries-old document in a modern context. Nonetheless, people are dying. Solutions come with a lack of temptation to cause problems. Death tolls fall with a lack of method to raise them.

So take action to stop further bloodshed. Advocate to your senators and representatives. Call in as a concerned citizen at every level of government. We encourage you, as students and as Americans, to fight actively for gun control and for the benefit of every student in this country.


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