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Essay: Solving Gun Violence in Schools: Causes, Prevention and Solutions

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  • Published: 1 April 2019*
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  • Words: 1,853 (approx)
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  • Tags: Gun control essays

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In 2018, when you are watching the news in T.V., there is a recurrent new that affect all of us as a nation: the gun violence inside the schools. Before starting to talk about the school shootings, we can explain that the use of a firearm to hurt or kill one or more innocent people is called Gun Violence. The possession and use of firearms in America are something normal since the creation of the first portable gun. In the United States Constitution since 1791 it is legal and a right for the people to keep and bear arms of the self-protection tool. That is why we can find firearms in places like Walmart. The big problem started when the same people took advantage of this right to use the guns with bad purposes. Actually, there is a huge problem in United States related to firearms: the school shootings made by under-age students against their classmates and teachers. According to one article posted by CNN, in May 2018, there had been twenty-three school shootings in the country, were at least somebody was hurt or killed. That sad new reveals that big problem associated to the gun possession by kids and teenagers, even when it is illegal to buy and carry a handgun if you are under eighteen years old (there is no minimum age to possess a long gun). That is why we can place three relevant causes that make true this sad trouble in our country: the weakness in laws of gun control, the few tools that teachers have to control and prevent this problem and the lack of principles and values inside families that could cause school shootings.

When you think of how a kid can get a gun so easily, the answer is easy too: the weakness in the laws that allow people to buy and carry a firearm. Although when an under eighteen years old person cannot buy a gun, if you are older you can buy a gun even in a supermarket like Walmart, just showing your I.D. Older brothers, cousins and friends can help kids and teenagers to get a gun. There is also a black market of guns where they can buy shorts and/or long firearms without registration, and there is no law that prohibits the possession of a long firearm to under eighteen years old people, and that is the biggest fail in the laws, because usually the long guns are the most lethal firearms too.

The weakness in gun control laws is a recurrent topic in different articles and studies, with a lot of point of views according to many factors, as the religion, politic position or even gender. In Matt Bennet’s article called “Gun Control Can Prevent School Shootings” is explained why we need a better gun control if we want to prevent these school shootings that affect us so frequently. One of the principal factors in this study is the quantity of people who possess a handgun in the United States. According to Bennet “When we compare ourselves to other countries (…), we find that the U.S. has by far the highest rate of private gun ownership in the world: 88 guns per 100 people (…). At the conservative estimate of 270 million guns, Americans have stockpiled almost half of the privately owned firearms in the world” (Bennet). When this is analyzed, it clearly shows a big problem in the country, where almost all the people have a gun in their houses. Although not all the people who got a firearm for bad purposes, it is basically impossible to determine if the person who is buying the gun has any mental disorder or criminal behavior, and that is just talking about the legal way to buy a gun. Bennet also explain how kids and teenagers can get a gun easily, skipping the regulations,

The answer begins with understanding where criminals get their guns, and we actually know a lot about that. First, in 90 percent of gun crimes, the firearm has changed hands at least once since the original sale (…). Second, about one-third of the guns involved in crime have crossed state lines, despite the federal prohibition against moving guns interstate. Third, the most common age of those who commit crimes with guns is 19 (…). Taken together, these data suggest that crime guns tend to come from an interstate network of gun traffickers that moves guns out of the legal market and into the hands of criminals and minors. (Bennet)

In a few words, Bennet explains the steps that people in the black market of guns do to avoid the existents laws, just moving firearms from a state to another is one of the steps to lose the track of that gun, and that is why a big percentage of the school shootings cannot be tracked by the gun used because they are usually bought in unofficial ways. After reviewing these factors, it is necessary to make gun control laws stronger, and fight directly against the illegal sell of firearms. This is a huge problem that we should be worried.

Second, the gun possession and controls laws are not the only wrong and weak laws. The laws that prohibit teachers and professors to stop big problems like bullying and in-class fights make this problem most likely to appear. Sometimes these laws make a teacher an invisible person who cannot help to prevent problems from the root. This is worse in High School ages, where a stupid problem like sentimental relationships or physical appearance can be so harmful for teenagers.

The school shootings are not a recent event in this country, but its occurrence has increased in a catastrophic amount in the last year. One of the principal ideas about how to prevent these shootings is to train teachers and give them a firearm as a preventive tool. Recently, The President of The United States, Donald Trump, expressed his agreement with that idea, after the lamentable event occurred in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February of 2018. It is necessary to say that this is not a recent problem, the idea of arming teachers has been discussed since the last century. In the Massad Ayoob’s article called “Teacher Should be Armed” is explained some pros and cons about the idea of arming teachers. According to Ayoob “To many people, that suggestion sounds absurd; gentle molders of young minds should not carry lethal weapons. Yet there is good precedent for the idea. In Israel armed teachers are common, and terrorist attacks at schools nonexistent” (Ayoob). This means that even when the people think that arming teachers is not a good idea, if the guns are in correct hands that could be a big step in prevent tragedies in schools. Arming teacher sounds a good idea if the State prepares the armed educators properly, taking care in choose the correct people, because if don’t it could become worse that the original problem. That is why Ayoob concludes saying “Yes, professional educators carrying lethal weapons is probably unthinkable to some. But previously unthinkable dangers can sometimes only be neutralized by previously unthinkable defenses” (Ayoob). After analyzing all the context in the schools actually, the idea of arming teachers, far from being the best option, could be a good step to fight against the school shootings and recover the security and peace in there.

The last two causes establish the conditions to start a shooting in schools, but the last cause is the most important and the key to allow or prevent a tragedy: the lack of family values and principles and sometimes the inexistent communication between parents and sons. A good relationship parents-sons is the biggest foundation of mental stability in kids and teenagers. Domestic violence, use of alcohol and drugs, and few family times can make the son think that he or she does not have support and love at home and at school, giving them a reason to take radical actions like using a firearm against the people who “bother” him.

The parents have a big responsibility in the behavior of the sons. Taking the right actions at time can prevent tragedies in the future. The Kelly Wallace’s article for CNN “After mass shootings, do parents shoulder some of the blame?” helps to understand where the parents should focus to understand better their sons. One of her topics in the article is the mistake in normalizing the isolation and anti-social conduct in the children. She says,

There is no certainty, both Ferrara and Saltz admit, in predicting who will go on to commit mass violence later, but there are plenty of warning signs that should give the parent the message that their child needs attention and treatment. Beyond anti-social behavior and isolation, those include children with substance abuse problems; children who appear angry, disenfranchised, aggressive, vengeful, and who see their problems as caused by the external world; and children with an impulsive reactivity to things. (Wallace)

This means that the parents must be more worried about the social relationships of their sons. If the child has any dangerous and/or different behavior either at school or home, it has to be reviewed, analyzed and talked with the kid or teenager. If there is no change in the conduct of the child, it is necessary to find professional help, and decrease the possibility of a lamentable decision. Then, it is necessary for the parents to be present in the life of their sons. Wallace explains “Parents need to be directly involved in their children's lives and make sure they truly know their children, many parents across the country said” (Wallace). In this statement she agreed with the opinion of many parents around the United States, in the believing of the reinforcement of the family relationship, where the parents should know more about the feelings and emotions of their sons and they have to create a home where the kid or teenager can feel security and confidence and grow as they deserve.

In conclusion, after reviewing the causes of the school shootings, there could be solutions to prevent and stop the gun violence in schools. First, it is a must to review and make the gun possession laws stronger. There should be more emphasis in analyzing the background and the reasons why a person wants to buy a firearm, also trying to control the entry of weapons into schools. Second, it is necessary to allow teachers to get involved with their students, always under some parameters, and to give more relevance to the position of a guidance counselors that help students with their problems. And the last one, and the most important solution is to create a good family environment, because parents have the big responsibility to make their sons in good citizens and good people, giving them at least a few minutes of the day to ask: “how do you feel today?” Or “How was the school?” and trying to show the younger people that there is always a bright side and they are here to support and give their sons the love they need.

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