‘We need gun control’

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As of Feb. 14, there is now a high school full of teenagers who now have to fear going to school every day. The mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 people dead is, sadly, not an isolated incident. School shootings are far too common.

Yet, many people insist that the guns aren’t the problem.

Notice, they are almost always school shootings, carried out using a firearm. We rarely hear about “school stabbings” or “school bludgeonings,” at least not ones that result in more than a dozen people dead.

Still, gun-owners and staunch supporters of the National Rifle Association cry out, “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people.”

This statement is technically true. Of course, a gun doesn’t wake up one day, waltz into a school, and start killing kids of its own free will.

However, people who use this saying as a shield to deflect all of the blame off of the weapon are blind to the actual issue. No one is saying that it’s the gun’s fault that people are dying. Everyone knows that crimes are done by people.

Nevertheless, a gun goes a long way to enabling people to carry out mass murders. The gunman in Las Vegas in October 2017 or in Orlando in June 2016 couldn’t have killed so many people without the help of a firearm.

The gunman at Stoneman Douglas High School couldn’t have killed so many people without access to a gun.

Could he have brought a knife and killed someone? Definitely. Could he have beat someone? Sure.

But I can’t see any way he could have hurt so many kids armed with only a knife or his bare hands. Taking guns out of the equation, though people can still be hurt and killed in other ways, will drastically reduce death tolls in similar situations.

I am sick of hearing people complaining that they wouldn’t be able to go hunting anymore without access to guns when children are literally dying preventable deaths.

This is not an issue that we get to sit back and see how it plays out. This is personal.

I think about the girls I was in color guard with who are still in high school. I think about the band kids that I teach on the weekends. I think of my friends who are student teaching. I think of my mentor, who has done so much for me, who teaches band in the closest classroom to an outside door.

When I picture any of those people going through what those kids at Stoneman Douglas experienced, a gun being pointed in their faces, I am further convinced that we have to minimize or eliminate firearms in civilian hands.

We need gun control. This is not okay, and it shouldn’t take children dying to show that.