Opinion: Gun violence is out of control

The horrific events of the Allen, Texas, mall shooting have once again shed light on gun violence in America. As of May 10, there have been over 21 deaths due to mass shootings, just in the beginning week of May. As of May 1, there have been over 200 mass killings in the United States, with over 248 youth deaths and 744 injuries this year

As a student, peer, and citizen, I should not have to think about the worst while walking into school or a public area.

— Guest Writer Madeline Therriault

This is disgusting. As a student, peer, and citizen, I should not have to think about the worst while walking into school or a public area. 

School shootings have become one of the highest leading causes of death for children. Statistics show that each day, another 12 children die from gun violence. In 2023 alone, more than 19 school shootings have taken place, with over 30 injuries and 11 deaths. A writer at NPR quotes, “I used to say mass shootings are rare, school shootings are rare,” Jillian Peterson said. “But it’s hard to keep saying that, you know, even though statistically they are, it’s getting harder to convince parents of that.” School is designed to be a safe environment to work and learn, but instead, students are filled with fear and worry about what may happen next. 

This occurs not only in school environments but also in public areas as well. Out of the 200 mass killings that have taken place in the United States, over 100 are in public places, excluding schools. As well, compared to other countries, Healthdata.org states, “firearm homicide rates in the US are 13 times greater than they are in France, and 22 times greater than in the European Union as a whole.” Being just about halfway into the calendar year, this is concerning to many and creates terror in civilians. So, why are the numbers so high?

Human lives should matter more than guns, not the other way around.

— Guest Writer Madeline Therriault

It may have to do with the fact that the second amendment can be misconstrued. The amendment states that people have the right to bear arms. The original purpose of the amendment was to “prevent the need for the United States to have a professional standing army.” Some take this as a reason to own weaponry, leading to the original purpose being forgotten by many. 

Responding to the violence, some people puff out their chests and throw the second amendment at you, claiming they have every right to own these weapons. However, even if that was the true meaning behind the amendment, it is still no excuse. Sandy Hook Promise states, “An estimated 4.6 million American children live in a home where at least one gun is kept loaded and unlocked.” This allows children to have easy access to firearms, which has been the case for some shootings and can allow more devastation to happen. 

The solution? Re-educate some on the Second Amendment? Possibly put laws in place to stop some from owning firearms? We do not really know. What we do know, however, is that the violence is getting out of hand. There should not be more shootings than days in the year so far. Children deserve to learn safely, and people deserve to go out and about without fear or dread. Human lives should matter more than guns, not the other way around.

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