Gun Regulation: for the common good


Sydney Cooper , Editor-in-Chief

According to data from the Gun Violence Archive, in less than 365 days, the United States has faced a total of 309 mass shooting incidents. In 2017, that number was 346. I don’t want people to suddenly start getting excited because the number has gone “down” since last year. Having almost one mass shooting per week instead of per half a week isn’t something to be proud of.

It is a familiar script that the nation has grown desensitized to. A shooting happens, politicians and celebrities give their thoughts and prayers (with a select few saying ‘we really should do something about this’), Democrats demand gun reform, and Republicans fight for their 2nd Amendment rights, and then everything goes back to ‘normal’.

I’m not saying that outrage should last days and that people should have to live in a constant state of fear, however, it is very telling about our nation that no matter what happens, no progress seems to be made.

The question that burns in my mind on a daily basis is:

What is stopping that from happening at our school?

I’m not trying to scare anyone, I am frankly trying to be realistic. There are approximately  98,817 public schools in the U.S. Given that school shooters don’t normally hit the same school twice, and there have been 861 shootings since Columbine, the numbers start dwindling by each school shooting we have, and the next one could be at our door.

No amount of security precautions will stop this from happening. 

There was a shooting that happened in downtown Cincinnati around two months ago. Devastating; a horrible tragedy that affected almost each and every student at Highlands in some way.

Whether you have a relative who works downtown or have just walked around the area before with your friends, almost everyone knows exactly where the shooting took place. We could picture it in our minds without even being at the scene.

Yet, as time passed, everyone seemed to forget. It is, no pun intended, a deadly cycle. This leads to a more fearful society run by people who want to sell you the solution. Every solution will be implemented, but the most glaringly obvious one: gun reform.

Before half of the school writes a comment about my ignorance, my solution is not to take away your precious hunting rifle.

The absurd notion that Democrats want to ban all guns is one of the reasons common sense gun legislation is taking so long to pass in Congress. The two sides of the issue are not talking to each other, thus making up wild accusations that get the nation nowhere.

More simply, the main argument that I feel best represents what the majority of Americans think is the best solution, is having more regulations for gun shows and gun sales. At the moment, most states do not require background checks for firearms purchased at gun shows from private individuals; the federal law only requires licensed dealers to conduct checks.

Even though the second amendment does give Americans the right to bear arms, a person should not be able to walk into a gun show and hold an AR-15 20 minutes later.

More background check questions should be asked concerning mental health, intent, criminal history, and gun etiquette (i.e. do they know how to properly conceal and store the gun?). If the person has nothing to hide, then they should not be afraid of having the clerk decline their sale.

Modern American society has grown scarier by the day. With the increase in hate crimes, terrorist attacks, mass shootings, and gun-related suicides, it is important to remember the words of Chandra Bhushan, the Deputy Director General of Centre for Science and Environment, in saying, “Democracy means nothing if people are not able to work the democracy for the common good.”