Texas School Shooting Sparks Debate Surrounding Gun Control
It was the 144th day of 2022 when the Uvalde Texas mass school shooting occurred at Robb Elementary School. This marked the 212th mass shooting of 2022, so why isn’t anything changing?
Twenty one people lost their lives at Robb Elementary School, Uvalde; 21 funerals to plan. Nineteen are for young children and two for teachers who died with the intent of protecting their students. If that isn't enough to shift gun control laws then what is? After the Sandy Hook Elementary Shooting in 2012, the United States swore that there would be a change in laws, in order to ensure that this wouldn’t ever happen again. But, simply, very little was modified.
If 18-year-olds are not allowed to legally drink alcohol, how are they able to buy a gun? A weapon in which they can shoot and kill an innocent person. According to the CDC, drinking before the appropriate age of 21 is tied with, alcohol poisoning, car crashes, suicide, drowning, and performance issues in school. How are you not allowed to drink, but can be in possession of a firearm, that has the potential to kill someone?
The shooter in Uvalde had just turned 18 when purchased two assault rifles along with scores of ammunition. Mind you, this was all done legally. From the New York Times, “One study found that 17% of all firearms offenders obtained guns legally, but would not have been able to do so if their state required handgun purchasers to be at least 21.” That statement proves the amount of lives that could have been saved, just with the age limits to buy a gun being raised.
Twenty-six years ago a school shooting took place in Dunblane Primary School, Scotland. A total of 16 students lost their lives that day. However, it sparked a national reform on gun control laws. The United Kingdom, (Scotland being a part of it) banned handguns. It was the weapon used in the attack and even since this law was passed Britain has had one of the lowest gun violence rates in the world. Since 1996 there also have been no other school shootings in the United Kingdom. So why can’t the United States be like this?
In my opinion, I believe that it should be harder to obtain a gun. Background checks should be stricter to ensure that if someone is mentally unstable, they are not able to purchase a gun. 22% of guns that are bought in America are obtained without universal background checks. Including the gun that the shooter in Uvalde bought. Red flag laws should be passed to permit guns to be taken away from people who are undergoing a mental health crisis.
How many more prayers and thoughts are we going to conduct before an actual change occurs? So while raising the age to purchase won’t entirely eliminate gun violence in America, it will at least make us feel a little bit safer.