The Blue and Gold

The Parkland Shooting: A Story of Gun Control

Semi-automatic guns are a plague upon our country. What can we do?

Aditya Kishore, Author/Editor

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Editor’s Note: Any school shooting, or mass shooting in general, is a severely sensitive topic. Please refrain from joking about topics of this levity, as lives have been lost and families uprooted by these terrible events.

 

The February 2018 mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School has shocked the nation, with widespread calls for stricter gun laws. The cold truth? When it is possible in a country where, in the span of just under a month, 11 mass shootings can take place, it is time for change. When it is possible in a country that hundreds of registered domestic abusers have access to guns, it is time for change. When it is possible that half the politicians in government are accepting campaign donations from gun-rights advocates, it is time for change. And to anyone who dares imply change is impossible, I pose the question: Are you saying that innovation is impossible? Are you saying that we must settle for what we currently have? Are you telling the families of the victims of Parkland’s shooting that their children’s death will be for naught? And so, as we explore the controversial issue of gun control, I’d like you to remember that change is possible.

The recent walkout here at Bowditch, honoring Stoneman Douglas and the 17 victims, emphasized all the hope that is wrapped up in the controversy of Parkland. On one hand, it got people talking about gun control as a whole. However, people have a tendency to overfocus on the specifics of Parkland itself. Not that they shouldn’t: understanding the Parkland shooting is critical in terms of understanding a great tragedy. However, the Parkland shooting’s details are not indicative of a greater theme in terms of mass shootings. Focusing on the Parkland shooting and not a greater plan for change, similarly to what happened at the walkout, is a recipe for more of the same. It risks losing the opportunity the horror at Stoneman Marjory Douglas High School gives us to raise greater awareness for gun control as a whole. However, the power of a large contingent of students standing and marching together is not to be ignored. This phenomenal force is enough to institute change, but only if carried to its logical conclusion.

Image result for Parkland

Indeed, the recent March For Our Lives is the perfect example of this. It was led by David Hogg, a Parkland survivor, and featured various speakers. Several Bowditch  students attended the march in San Francisco, and those who did have reported it was an excellent experience. The various speeches that were part of the march enlightened members of the audience, and enriched the march as a whole. Plans were outlined, and the controversy around gun control was highlighted in a fashion that was truly great for the movement. However, there is more to be done if we are to free ourselves from the terror of the issue that is easily accessible guns in our country. The only thing on the list? The NRA’s political grasp.

The NRA continues to stand in the way as the largest obstacle to stricter gun control regulations. They do not represent the views of 62% of the population, and so dissecting its argument is critical to rectify America’s predicament: easily accessible guns. There is no logical reason to keep a personal collection of semi-automatic weapons in this country, except for the 2nd Amendment. Let’s take a look at the text of the 2nd Amendment, which appears in the Bill of Rights:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Key among these words are “a well regulated Militia.” The right to bear arms is reserved exclusively to militia members. This oft-debated legal issue is exacerbated by the fact that the militia in question should be “well-regulated, ” meaning that limiting the 2nd Amendment is, in fact, wholly Constitutional. The original intention of this amendment was not to give the whole nation guns, as the NRA and various other pro-gun organizations claim. It was to give qualified militia members a regulated chance to defend the freedom of our nation. Therefore, there are no restrictions on stronger gun regulations; if there are no restrictions, the NRA has no argument. If the NRA has no argument, then there is no debate. With no debate, there is no reason not to have better gun control laws. And that is the only logical conclusion to the controversy over guns.

The Stoneman Marjory Douglas survivors have been pleading this very point for about two months now, as have the survivors of every other mass shooting for the past 20 years.  Yet… who’s listening? Two months later, Parkland fails to make appearances on the news. The enormity of this bleak, blood-filled situation seems to vanish, as it has for the past 20 years. Columbine, Sandy Hook, Las Vegas, and countless other shootings all passed without the news placing an emphasis on them for an extended period of time. The truth is, the average layman listens to the news, to CNN and Fox, to get their understanding of the political situation of America. In the first month after Parkland, gun sales dipped significantly as news networks acknowledged the situation. Therefore, the steps toward stopping the menace of the NRA is convincing the news that the NRA is dangerous. As many a wise man once said, “news writes the first draft of history.” Let us just hope that there will be no more deaths before the final draft of this saga can be written.

Therefore, as the news may not be trusted, the onus falls on us. We must take it upon ourselves to share this on social media. We must deliver our very own ultimatum towards the news networks: make our own news. Keep the egregious violation of our rights to safety as citizens on the news networks and in the mind of the common man, through the incredible platform that is media today. Only when we do this, can change come to our country and its automatic gun problem.

 

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