Pro v. Con: Gun debate ignored in wake of shootings

Pro v. Con: Gun debate ignored in wake of shootings

Chioma Iheoma, Opinion Editor

This is the pro argument for gun laws. To see the con argument, click here.

After the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting many in the media said it was a bad time to bring up a gun control debate because partisan debates shouldn’t occur after a tragedy.

But after the Sikh Temple Shooting, the Texas A&M shooting, the Family Research Council Shooting, the Empire State Building shooting, and the Perry Hall High School shooting, one can’t help but wonder when  the debate will occur.  Gun policies need to be stricter.

Living in a county where it’s not unusual for a teen to get a gun license before a driver’s license brought the Perry Hall shooting even closer to home.  Gun-related crimes by teens won’t completly stop because teens can’t have gun licenses, but there are steps that should be taken to address the recent incidents.

Teens shouldn’t be able to get their gun license, period.  Laws should be created so that police are alerted when individuals purchase a certain amount of weapons in a short time span.  The police alerts should result in police monitoring of the individuals and psych evaluations if the individuals try to buy more weapons.

The “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” mantra is almost as useful as saying “toasters don’t toast bread, bread toasts bread.”  Bread can be toasted without a toaster and people can be killed without guns, but that tool is a lot more efficient when getting the job done.

Prevention of teen gun violence has to start in the home where teens get the guns.

America is ranked first in the world for the level of privately owned firearms with 88 out of 100 Americans owning guns, according to  The average rate of gun homicide in the U.S. per 100,000 people is 2.98.  It’s higher than the rates of Canada, the UK, Germany, and France combined.

I can’t help but think that the U.S. is a paranoid old lady arming herself for the apocalypse.

In Maryland 5.11 out of 100,000 murders are a result of firearms according to The Guardian.  This comes second only to Louisiana. While Maryland requires handguns to be registered, shotguns and rifles do not have to be.  Rules like this are how James Holmes, the Aurora theater shooter, managed to go under the radar as he stockpiled weapons, legally.

High schools are breeding grounds for mental strain and prevention should continue there.  The best preventative measure that the administration has taken this year is battling bullying.  According to the Center for Disease Control, bullying is a behavior that contributes to violence.  In a 2011 survey given by the CDC, 26.2 percent of high school students admitted to being bullied.

The zero tolerance bullying policy, which provides no mercy for bullies, has shown that the administration is putting its foot down on bullying.

According to Dean of Students Thomas Vierheller, Harford County Public Schools has been working with the administration on increasing school safety.

Most of the safety measures aren’t preventative. The school is surrounded by cameras, which would be helpful after an emergency, but they’re not a good preventative measure for an intrusion or shooting.

Gun control laws need to be changed.  Public shootings, and more specifically school shootings, can’t be fixed while being ignored.

Chioma Iheoma is an Opinion Editor for The Patriot and