Save Our Schools – Gun Control Needs Reform Now


Crosses outside of the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, honoring the students and staff who were fatally shot on 24 May, 2022. This was the most recent deadly shooting in America, and the deadliest since the Sandy Hook shooting of 2012— another consequence of the weak gun control and worsening gun violence in many parts of America. (Jordan Vonderhaar/Time/MCT)

Gun violence is one of the leading causes of death in America and continues to worsen each year. By December, 2022, there were 41,407 gun violence incidents that resulted in one or more deaths. Of those deaths, 1,540 were children and teenagers. Twenty-nine of these youths were killed in schools, alongside seven employees. 

         These statistics, provided by the Gun Violence Archive and Education Week, mean that, by the New Year, 41,407 families went the entire holiday season without one of their loved ones and 36 of those families had their loved ones killed in school.

As humans, we protect our children, because they are the future. So why are schools, where they go to learn for their futures, an exception to this?

The first American school shooting took place in 1764 and since then, mass shootings in schools seem to have become a tragic tradition of sorts.

Only some states, however, have managed to tame gun violence to a large extent, while others have gun laws in place that seem more cosmetic than anything else, and consequently ineffective both in and out of schools. 

In Texas, for example, the only requirement to purchase and carry a gun after 21 years old is a felony-free record. No background checks are required, and you can carry a concealed gun on school campuses. In return, Texas has had the most school shootings since 2012– 43 of them, according to U.S. News— the most recent being the Robb Elementary shooting in Uvalde, in which 22 were killed.

Gun control may seem like a far too polarizing topic for a school newspaper, but this is a school newspaper and from the perspective of a student, this is simpler than it seems.

We do not necessarily need no guns, at all— this is America, hunting is engraved into our culture, and the right to bear arms is, technically speaking, a part of our country’s foundation— many people would not let that go easily. What we do need is for both ends of the spectrum to come together and admit to each other that this cannot continue and that they must compromise.

A compromise is possible— strict background checks before purchasing a weapon would be a good first step, as many recorded mass shootings could have been prevented by these. From there, we could move forward, limiting the types of weapons civilians are allowed to own and why and where they can keep them.

Gun control will not, and does not necessarily need to happen all at once, but it does need to begin happening now. From the viewpoint of a student, I do not understand how anyone can watch the number of gun violence deaths–especially in schools– and think otherwise. When it comes down to it, until we limit gun ownership we have no way of slowing gun violence and no way of slowing death.