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Four years ago, people of Newtown, Connecticut faced a horrific incident that raised questions about gun control in the United States. On the morning news, I saw a headline that read “Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting.” This incident is the deadliest mass shooting at a school in U.S history. The tragedy involved a twenty-year-old man who fatally shot twenty children between the ages of six and seven after killing his mother. Soon after arriving at school, everyone was talking about the school shooting saying: “Did you hear about the shooting?” or “He killed so many innocent children!” On social media, my news feed was filled with debates about gun control in the United States. Discussion included mandating background check systems and federal and state laws that would prohibit the sale and manufacture of certain guns. Everyone was filled with terror after reading about the deaths of twenty young students by a single man. By looking through my feed, I was hit with a surge of anxiety knowing that something of this caliber could happen at my school. The Sandy Hooks Elementary School shooting revealed that state government should mandate increased training and education for licensed gun holders, public school teachers, and students.
Guns do not always cause school shootings and robberies; they can also provide protection to the gun owner. For example, about 48% of gun owners own guns for their protection (“Average American”). Dating back to the American Colonies, guns were used for self-protection and later as weapons for the American Revolutionary War (“Background of the Issue”). Consider this; violent criminals will always have a gun in their possession, so why can’t people carry guns to prevent themselves from turning into a victim in a shooting incident? Responsible citizens carry concealed guns to gain a sense of safety and security. With concealed weapons, the numbers of murders, rape, and assaults are reduced (“Should Adults”). For example in a situation where a woman is on the verge of being raped, the victim pulls out a gun towards the offender’s face. This warns the offender to back off or receive a deadly bullet to the face. Owning a gun is not all bad, but with great power comes great responsibility. That’s why each citizen needs to be educated about gun ownership and their uses to prevent an incident like the Sandy Hooks Shooting from repeating.
With this in mind, the state government should enforce increased training and education for gun holders to lower murder and shooting rates. But why enforce training and education instead of gun control and laws? According to Douglas Murray in “Handguns, Gun Control Laws and Firearm Violence.”, he found states with lower gun laws coincided with lower homicide rates. There was also no significant difference in crime rates between states with firearms laws and states without (Murray). By expanding gun education and training, we can then lower the misuse of guns. Classes could focus on the pressures of owning a gun, how it can cause murder and suicides, and the responsibilities that come with it. If a gun is available, it encourages attacks on victims as well as enable people to attempt robberies (Kleck). This is why there should be lessons focused on gun usage. Similar to the courses you takes before you can drive, there should be lessons before owning and handling a gun.
Because of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, there has been heightened security for schools in the United States. Fear washed across America, so they started to push for stricter gun laws and an increase in school security on social media. Sure, schools can take on electronic measures, such as intruder alarms and metal detectors against school intrusion, but they’re also expensive and need to be regularly repaired. Alternatively, human measures, like school watches and community groups, are long-lasting, but time-consuming (Hudson). By beginning to educate gun holders, students, and even teachers about the awareness of security, it can reduce crime rates in school welfare. Students and teachers, who have been taught what to do in a school intrusion, will be more prone not to panic and calmly address the situation.
Therefore, state governments should mandate education and training for licensed gun holders, public school teachers, and students. This is one way to tackle the issue of crimes involving guns rather than creating more gun control laws. We all desire a safe environment for everyone to live and work in peace, especially in schools since they hold the future generations of our society. So by raising awareness of the responsibilities of guns and security of the public, we can lower the casualties from incidents like the Sandy Hooks shooting.
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