Throughout the years some, of us have conveniently misdiagnosed the cause of the unforgettable but preventable attacks on America’s schools. For a long time, several influential but misguided people have blamed school shootings and other attacks across the United States on the right to bear arms (a portion of the 2nd amendment) and shut out the aspect of mental health initiatives or lack thereof. Recently several school protests and “walkouts” have occurred all across America. The message or goal of these demonstrations of protestation is to restrict gun rights in our country, but will that really have a positive effect on our society? If these regulations were passed, law abiding gun owners across the United States would riot in the streets. Instead of focusing all of our efforts on to taking guns out of the situation (a completely unrealistic goal) maybe we should focus on helping our students and citizens in general with the state of their mental health.
Several people said that shootings such as Columbine, Sandy Hook, and Parkland were not preventable but others argue that taking away the right to own guns would’ve stopped all of this from happening. Instead of using irrational or unrealistic arguments, we can all agree on a more positive and efficient solution. Dozens of schools tend to let their counselors give a speech on bullying, give the children a packet, and never say anything again to the students. This recurring issue has led to several kids being bullied so badly that they act irrationally and violently. According to stopbullying.gov, approximately every 1 in 3 students are being bullied everyday. At first, bullying will bother kids and hurt their feelings but once it gets bad enough the children can become radical and cause harm to innocent people. If schools were to push mental health and wellness initiatives, reaching out to kids would be more productive and effective. If we can identify the students who are in need of mental support we can decrease the risk of violent activity in schools.
I had a personal experience with this issue last week when a large number of the student body participated in a walkout with a goal of ending gun ownership in America. I chose to not participate because their ideas and goals were unrealistic and against my beliefs. Even if the government were to pass a law to get rid of all commercial gun purchasing, citizens would turn to the black market and the United States would slowly but surely become a country ridden by chaos. Instead of angering both parties in this conflict the “problem solvers’’ need to focus on a plan that keeps the protesters and the anti-protesters happy while also incorporating an aspect of mental health and wellness. This country has been, is, and always will be a strong nation. Events like Parkland, Orlando, and 9/11 have always brought us together as a country. Instead of pushing apart we need to be joining together to find an efficient, effective, and full proof plan to protect and honor the citizens of the United States.
Aidan C. Stolz
8th Grade Student
Fort Collins, Colorado
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