When I learned of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, I could not help but think of the countless times that I have, without hesitation, sent a bullet whizzing through a target. However, I cannot even fathom pointing a weapon at a defenseless child. My upbringing as a female in a peaceful city leads me to despise the destructive tools that have mercilessly robbed families of loved ones. Yet, the marksman in me loves the rifle that has allowed her to engage in an exhilarating experience. Nevertheless, I believe that accessibility of arms imposes more responsibility on society than some individuals can and should wield. Although weapons can serve as protection, too often they have been effortlessly employed as a means to devastate whole families, communities, and countries.
After recently losing my grandfather, I had a notion of what the Newtown families felt and knew that I wished to respond in some way both as a Canadian marksman and as a student. Hence, during the winter holidays, I organized a project that would present the point of view of an intimate all girls’ independent school community. The video can be viewed at the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsv05S0TzH8
(Crofton Newtown Shooting Response).
Although this project has helped me further my understanding of current topics in the United States, I have skimmed only the surface of an issue that stems from a deeply rooted constitutional right and brushed the edges of a unique culture that values its people and the principles of freedom.
Guns cannot be completely eliminated, nor should they necessarily. That being said, harsher regulations including more comprehensive background checks should be installed. To make weapons too easily available provides temptation to those who may abuse their privileges: weapons should be employed at ranges, not in homes where children may misuse them and where anger can lead to preventable disasters. Regarding school safety, though I believe teachers should not be armed because this approach would introduce weapons into classrooms of young children, qualified armed guards can offer protection in case of emergencies.
It is important to remember that the Newtown shooting is not the first in its series neither in the United States nor elsewhere. For instance, Canada has also seen several cases of horrific weapons usage. In the 1989 Montreal Massacre, Marc Lepine murdered 14 female students and injured 14 others.
Although it can be difficult for some to consider topics like arms reduction when living in communities that perhaps have not been touched by weapons violence, gun control and school safety are issues that we as members of society should consider and have a say in.
What kind of security should all people and especially students have access to? What can we do to reduce violence in books, movies, games, and other forms of media? What steps can we take towards preventing future tragedies?
The solutions are not simple, but I know that together, we can be a part of the search, the struggle, and the victory.