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Holstering gun violence at school

The+main+entrance+of+LT+on+Cossitt+Avenue+%28Breen%2FLION%29.
The main entrance of LT on Cossitt Avenue (Breen/LION).

The main entrance of LT on Cossitt Avenue (Breen/LION).

The main entrance of LT on Cossitt Avenue (Breen/LION).

Brandt Siegfried and Maddy Cohen

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Maddy would never touch a gun; Brandt enjoys spending an hour at the range. We have dramatically opposed positions on gun control, but in this honest reflection on the role of guns in America, we have created an essay about guns and safety. There is common ground on the gun issue, and, after thoughtful conversations, we know where we agree. While we cannot change America on our own, senseless gun tragedies must end, and this is our blueprint to begin to attack it.

Gun ownership

While we disagree on the scope and specifications for gun ownership, we both understand that gun ownership is something that many American families value. Sport shooting, self defense and hunting (within reason) are justified reasons to own a gun. The Second Amendment guarantees the right to bear arms, but those with mental illness should not be allowed to own a firearm.

It is imperative that gun owners are responsible and take measures to adequately secure their weapons. Too often, children and teens are injured because their parents fail to properly store their guns. Safes, trigger locks and lockable gun cases are all methods that should be used based upon the needs of the individual, and guns should not be stored loaded.

Furthermore, increased education on firearms is vital in preventing tragedies. Community outreach events such as the National Rifle Association’s Eddie Eagle Program offer an imperative lesson for kids: stop, don’t touch, runaway, tell a grown up. Our children should be taught these steps to respect firearms from an early age so that they know what to do in the event that they ever discover an unsecured gun.

It is imperative that gun owners are responsible and take measures to adequately secure their weapons.”

Enforcement of laws

Specific gun laws are an area of contention between us, but we hold that existing gun laws must be enforced better. The United States recognizes the rule of law, which means that existing laws must be enforced until they are changed or repealed. Administrative errors and lackluster implementation have failed every victim of school shootings.

The shooter at the Nov. 5 First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, was able to carry out his rampage because of an Air Force clerical error. As a service member, he had military convictions for domestic violence on his record. That conviction should have prevented him from buying guns under current law, but the proper form was never filled out. Twenty-six Americans lost their lives as a result. We believe gun violence would be reduced if our current laws were fully enforced.

We believe gun violence would be reduced if our current laws were fully enforced.”

School safety

Unfortunately, in light of recent tragedies, the most important aspect for LT is school safety. The entry procedures at NC give us a sense of independence; however, with the state of our current society, more serious precautions need to be taken. Security appears to be light, and we question the ability of those entrusted to protect us to take action in the event of a live shooter situation.

The LT administration should continue to work with local police and emergency management organizations to develop plans to handle such an event. We think that LT should consider adding additional security personnel, such as a full-time Student Resource Officer at NC or designated armed security officers at both campuses.

The entrance to NC does not have a lockable foyer prior to admitting visitors (Breen/LION).

 

Mental health is also an important issue for students. You should be aware of your own mental health, and pay attention to the health of others. All students should feel welcome to discuss their concerns with a trusted adult, friend or teacher.

All students should feel welcome to discuss their concerns with a trusted adult, friend or teacher.”

Not a partisan issue

Gun control is a controversial topic that causes strict divisions between those across the political spectrum. Regardless, this should not be a partisan issue; we are witnessing the slaughter of hundreds of people in the places they feel most safe. Compromise is necessary to make school a place that fosters learning, not fear. For the sake of the millions who interact with our nation’s schools every day, we need change.

Compromise is necessary to make school a place that fosters learning, not fear.”

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Holstering gun violence at school