Posted: Thursday, January 10, 2013 9:46:01 PM
My Thoughts on Newtown: Sensible Gun Control
This past year has seen more mass shootings than we have seen in perhaps all of history. The most recent shooting in Newtown, CT, was particularly troubling because of the loss of such young lives. I find school shootings to affect me on a personal level, because my mother works as a teacher with an at-risk population of young adults. Although I am a firm believer in the second amendment of the constitution, I believe that responsible gun control is the answer to preventing such horrific tragedies from occurring as we move forward.
I find that shootings that occur at schools are the most disturbing. My mother works with students that have dropped out of school and helps them to receive their high school diploma through the external diploma program. Some of her students have been expelled because they have threatened to “shoot up” the school. She works hard to turn their lives around but at times we are still fearful for her safety. What gives us comfort is the fact that security systems within her building keep her safe. Since some of these shootings happened, many schools have reconfigured school entrances so that visitors have no access to the classrooms and have to go through the main office before they are admitted into the school. Although expensive, metal detectors would certainly enhance the safety of the school, and reduce the risk of violent acts on campus.
It is our duty as a society to provide a more affordable and accessible mental health care system for those in need. Studies have proven that many of those who have committed mass murders struggled with a mental illness which has been either undiagnosed or poorly managed. I believe that if we had better screenings for mental illness within our school systems which would provide for early diagnoses and treatment.
Finally, I am a strong believer in our second amendment rights; however it is important that we instill a policy of “sensible gun control”. Gabby Gifford, who was shot by a mentally ill man, has appeared in media this past month preaching of sensible gun control. This is the principle that the second amendment should be upheld, but there must be tougher screening for ex. Convicts and the mentally ill.
In conclusion, there must be a change in our nation’s gun policy. Our nation has many other pressing issues that it must handle at the moment, such as the recession, but this needs to be the number one priority on capitol hill and at the white house during this time of mourning and struggle.