From Columbine to Sandy Hook to Marjory Stoneman Douglas, it seems like every school shooting is more severe than the next. And while the debate regarding gun control gets the most attention after a shooting, everyone in the country is united in wanting answers.
What could the solution to school shooting violence entail? Many believe stricter gun laws need to happen. But this one Columbine survivor has his own idea he’s ready to set into motion — and it’s super controversial (see page 5).
1. The Florida shooter legally purchased his weaponry
It’s troubling to know the Florida shooter had little difficulty attaining his deadly weapons. The Chicago Tribune notes Nikolas Cruz legally bought an AR-15 assault weapon from Sunrise Tactical Supply in Coral Springs, Florida. At the time of purchase, the owners ensured Cruz filled out the proper paperwork and had a background check.
The gun shop has closed down indefinitely, as the owners feel “a tremendous sense of responsibility” and “horribleness,” according to their attorney. And when Cruz previously attempted to buy weapons from another gun shop in his home state, he also had no trouble getting approved.
Next: Here’s how the Columbine shooters got away with purchasing their weapons.
2. The Columbine shooters acquired their guns from a friend and a pizza shop owner
While Cruz may have gone through all the proper legal procedures to acquire his weapons, Columbine shooters Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold acquired their guns illegally, but still with ease.
The Violence Policy Center reports a friend of Klebold and Harris’ bought shotguns from a gun show the year prior to the 1999 shooting. They were purchased from unlicensed sellers at the time. And when they were passed on to Klebold and Harris, this was another illegal hand-off. The two then went on to buy another gun from a pizza shop owner for a mere $500, which of course, was against the law.
Next: Here’s what the Florida students have to say about the current gun laws.
3. Florida students are calling for stricter gun control following the shooting
Gun control isn’t a new topic, but now, even high school students are calling for reform. Impassioned parents, teachers, and students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School rallied together on Feb. 19 to speak about the violence.
Florida Governor Rick Scott says he’s holding meetings with law enforcement to discuss the best ways to keep guns away from those struggling with mental illness, CNN reports. And students like Cameron Kasky have said they’re prepared to attack the National Rifle Association and politicians who accept money from gun lobbyists.
Next: Will taking away semiautomatic weapons have that much of an effect?
4. The mental health vs. gun control debate wages on
Solving the mass shooting issue isn’t a straightforward process. And while most of the Florida community affected by the shooting is seeking gun reform, others are wondering if the mental health aspect needs to be dealt with first.
Forensic Psychiatrist Liza Gold says 98% of gun violence isn’t attributable to those with mental illness, however. And sociologist Jeffrey Swanson says even if mental illnesses like schizophrenia, depression, and bipolar disorder were cured, violent crime in the country would only fall by 4%. The numbers prove most people who are mentally ill aren’t violent against others.
Next: Here’s the one controversial idea this school shooting survivor came up with.
5. This Columbine survivor introduced this controversial bill that could change everything
Most students affected by gun violence at school are heavily against guns — but the opposite is true for this survivor. Newsweek reports Patrick Neville, a student at Columbine High School in 1999 during the shooting, proposed a bill that would put guns into teachers’ hands.
Currently, the law doesn’t allow someone who has a concealed carry permit to bring their weapon on public school grounds. And Neville’s bill aims to remove this limitation. With more people carrying concealed weaponry, he believes the kids are better protected.
Next: Could more guns mean a safer school environment?
6. Neville believes there would be more Columbine survivors if teachers had been armed
As a survivor of one of the deadliest school shootings and a state representative, Neville has pushed this bill since 2014, Newsweek says. He truly believes that more guns on school property and in the hands of teachers are the answer to protecting students.
The problem with his bill is that it goes against what statistics show. Scientific American notes 30 studies show that more firearms present does not equal more safety. And studies also illustrate that having more guns in the home increases the risk of homicide and suicide.
Next: Here’s what teachers really think about carrying a firearm at school.
7. Do teachers even want to carry guns?
Whether bringing firearms onto school property is a good idea is up for debate. But is it something teachers even want to be responsible for? As teacher Clay Purvis writes for The Clarion-Ledger, “Teachers are in schools to teach. I’m pretty sure most of us don’t want to add armed security to our list of duties.”
Purvis make it clear that he’s not anti-gun. But he sees arming teachers as a cost-cutting measure and something educators shouldn’t be responsible for. If anything, he thinks armed security is a more reasonable solution.
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