Saturdaymarked the 20-year anniversary of the Columbine High School Shooting in which thirteen students were gunned down by fellow classmates. In June, it will be the three-year anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub shooting, in which 49 people were gunned down in Orlando, Florida. A little over a year ago, 17 students were killed and 14 students were wounded as a result of another mass shooting in Parkland, Florida.
And yesterday, in the very same state in which guns are easily accessible and were used to perpetrate and act of horror and malice, lawmakers voted for teachers to be able to bear arms in the classroom rather than for stricter gun regulations.
To say this is a disgusting decision is an incredibly underwhelming use of language.
There is absolutely no reason that teachers should ever have guns in the classroom, a place of learning and not combat. Arming teachers is the government’s way of pawning off the responsibility of gun control onto civilians instead of taking initiative and passing laws. It is the government’s responsibility to protect its people, not the teachers’ responsibility to shoot down someone in the event of a school shooter.
Let us also acknowledge how dangerous and irresponsible it is to allow guns in the classroom at all. All it takes is one teacher not paying attention for a student to have access to a potentially loaded gun.
All it takes is one racist teacher “feeling threatened,” and another black child will die without justice. Guns have no place around children, in education, on the hip of someone whose only job is to educate our children in hopes of making the world a better place.
Gun violence and the ubiquity of guns in the United States have led to high rates of mass shooting and gun violence incomparable to other industrialized nations in the world. Yet apparently, more than one school shooting is not enough to drive change in legislature that would result in overall greater safety.
People are so hell bent on keeping their guns for preservation of a Constitution written hundreds of years ago in the context of colonial war that they would willingly step over the bodies of children to do so.
As tired as the example is, Australia had one mass shooting in 1996 and consequently banned guns within the calendar year. Since then it has had a whopping total of zero mass shootings.
After the shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand earlier this year, legislation cracking down on gun ownership was passed within weeks.
And yet after over 300 shootings in 2018 in the U.S. alone, lawmakers feel no urgency in passing laws to protect anyone, let alone students, from the onslaught of gun violence in this country.
The best they can do is apparently provide more guns and less safe spaces from them.
It’s not an issue of the Second Amendment. It’s not an issue of the white rural man’s right to keep a rifle in his house. It’s not an issue of immigration or terrorism — it’s an issue of people being too stubborn to give up a piece of metal to save the lives of countless people. And now, instead of restricting access, lawmakers are quite literally placing guns into schools instead of keeping them out.