Written by: Joshua Carreon
On February 14th, America experienced yet another school shooting as a crazed gunman shot seventeen students and injured seventeen more at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. This tragedy has caused irreversible damage to many families and has tore open the ever-present wound of gun violence, renewing the gun debate. As families grieve, America once again is embattled. This political brawl serves only to further infect our nation with discord. The only way to bind this wound is with the threads that have always held our nation together; American democracy.
Two main solutions have been prescribed: The first is for stricter gun laws, or even a ban on guns, to minimize the frequency and scale of violence. The second is to focus on preventing the unfit from acquiring guns whilst increasing security. This contrast has sparked debate, which sadly has not been respectful. Proponents of stricter gun laws accuse their detractors of apathy, yet 98% of Americans view gun violence as a nationwide problem, with 75% seeing few links between access to guns and gun violence. (1) Observably, opposition to gun control does not demonstrate a lack of concern, and while there should be debate, to accuse someone of apathy is counterproductive to discourse.
People reject stricter gun control not because they are ideologues, but because evidence suggests that stricter gun laws do not make people safer. According to research, 98.4% of mass shootings occur in gun free zones (2), most murders in 2016 were committed with handguns (3), 90% of violent crimes in the U.S. did not involve a firearm (4). In addition, all schools are gun-free zones per federal law since 19905, and 80% of guns used in mass shootings were legally acquired. (6) "Too many guns" is not the problem; they are not demonic entities which entice men to commit evil. Instead, it is the fault of the wicked, which is why Republicans in Congress have put forth a bill to strengthen the background check system. (7)
There is no doubt that we all are concerned over the amount of gun violence in our schools, but this is a complex issue. This crisis is multi-faceted, and it is vital that we do not take a narrow-minded approach or launch partisan crusades. Though this is a hot button issue, we must come together and listen to each other. It is now amid this tragedy that we must put aside our squabbles to protect the vulnerable.
The views expressed in this article are representative of the author and not necessarily the views of More Than Friends as a company. With that being said, we encourage you to share your thoughts on the subject in the comments below. It's important that we discuss pressing issues such as gun violence. This is an emotional topic for many. Please be respectful of others. More Than Friends does NOT tolerate hate speech and bullying.