Protect Kids, Not Guns

Dominique Pecovic

Since 1970, 2,061 school shootings have occurred in the United States these numbers are increasing (Center for Homeland Defense and Security). As it’s been proven time and time again, a “good guy with a gun” is not the way to stop school shootings, or mass shootings in general. The best way, along with more mental health resources, is gun control.

The full phrase, “The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” was coined by the CEO of the National Rifle Association, Wayne LaPierre. This mantra has picked up a lot of steam among gun fans, despite having no leg to stand on. In theory, it makes sense, but it is (unfortunately) not reality. In the Buffalo supermarket shooting, an armed security guard attempted to stop the shooter by firing at him; sadly, this did not work and said security guard was killed.

According to the CDC, the leading cause of death among American children and teens is not illness, not car accidents, but guns (CDC). It is unfathomable that lawmakers and voters value the second amendment, which was written when guns fired one bullet before needing a reload, over the lives of children and teenagers. The United States has had 57 times more school shootings from 2009-2018 than the other G7 countries combined (CNN). All of those countries have strict gun laws, and they do not have the same mass shooting problem as the United States. Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton, recognizes that other countries do not have the same mass shooting problem that the United States does, but considers that a price to pay for freedom (Newsmax). Every other developed, democratic country has freedom and a hell of a lot fewer mass shootings. It’s not rocket science; School shootings are not just something to be accepted, and public officials have a duty to actively combat them. The first, seemingly obvious step is stricter gun regulations.

One popular counterargument to gun control is that there are other ways to kill people. “They’ll just use knives!!” they say. But never has a knife had the same impact by numbers that guns do. “B-but the bad guys will just get the guns illegally!”… Perhaps, but serving the guns to them on a silver platter is perhaps not the best course of action. Almost nobody is calling for a total ban on all guns, but maybe making the process a bit more rigorous than getting a driver’s license is a start. The 2nd Amendment says, “A well-regulated Militia,” which does not align with the number of guns in America today.

The gun control argument extends beyond mass shootings. A link has been found between high gun ownership in a state and suicide (American Journal of Public Health). Between suicide by gun, mass shootings, and accidental gun deaths, firearms are the biggest epidemic in American history. Public officials, lawmakers, and voters need to protect kids, not guns.