American Students “March for Our Lives”

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School shootings are just as American as apple pie. As of 2012, America’s rate of gun homicide has more than tripled the rate of gun homicides in other developed countries, averaging 29.7 homicides per 1 million people. It is universally known that gun violence is a big problem, but the question is, how do we handle it?

In Foundations of Faith Bible class, Bible Teacher and Tenth Grade Boys Chair Josh Smith opened the discussion to his students. Junior Daniel Woods started the discussion with the question, “Did you blame the plane for 9/11?” Woods’s point is that when the two planes flew into the World Trade Center, we didn’t ban planes, so why should we ban guns? But in retrospect, after the incident, airports were never the same.

Two years after the attack took place, Congress passed the Aviation and Transport Security Act, which created the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). This act implemented stricter procedures when screening luggage and passengers. This is the argument for gun control: not to ban guns, but to make them safer to obtain.

But junior Maegan Baker brought a different perspective: “The state-wide government should regulate and track people more. Huffham High School was similar to Wesleyan, and because the school shooter was in that environment, no one took him seriously and over-looked all of his threats.” Smith adds, “The problem is, you can’t arrest someone for threatening material on social media. All of the evidence for him was on social media, so there were no immediate repercussions. In order for him to be blocked from owning a gun, he would have had to have had a previous felony.”

Many things factor into the importance and relevance of gun control, the lack of repercussions for social media threats being one of them. Service Coordinator and Bible Teacher Nathan Emmelhainz said, “another link to mass shootings is the relativity between population growth and gun sales.” The US population goes up by a million and a half each year while guns remain at a flat selling rate of only nine million. If guns are related to crime, the rate of gun sales should increase continually, yet it remains flat.

Emmelhainz said, “I am for increased difficulty in buying a gun. Gun-related death and car accidents have really close mortality rates, but it’s harder to obtain a driver’s license than it is to buy a gun. We realize the danger around cars, but we find it harder to agree on gun laws making it less difficult for people to buy guns.” Another license difficult to obtain is a hunting license, which shows how dangerous a gun is.

The constant threat of school shootings are why students in Atlanta organized the March for Our Lives event on March 24th. Students, parents and protesters alike walked through the stretch of Atlanta and to the Capital building. It comes in the wake of the school shooting at Huffham High School in Birmingham, AL. because students have decided that being complacent isn’t an option anymore. It’s time for them to take a stand.

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