Gun control is one of the most contentious issues in the United States of America. While some support the idea that gun accessibility and supply should be regulated, some argue that regulation does not offer any cure to mass shootings. Recently, gun misuse has spilled over to underage children who go ahead and shoot innocent people. For example, in 2012, twenty children and six staff members of Sandy Elementary School were shot dead by a gunman (Kalesan et al., 2016). The case of Sandy Hook Elementary School is not isolated but one of the many reported gun violence instances in schools. A gunman opens fire discriminately at other students and teachers. This study aims to find out the best policies and strategies that the government can develop to control the number of shootings in schools effectively.
Mass shooters’ motives always consist of revenge, where one individual takes on vengeance for various reasons such as failure in careers, school grades, or personal vendettas. The other possible cause of the school-based mass shootings is the recruitment of young gullible students to terrorism, promising vast sums of money for committing the atrocities on their colleagues. According to Fox and DeLateur (2013), there are also issues of students’ mental instability, where one might use a free gun to commit crimes.
Generally, gun control measures are a combination of policies that control the production and sale of firearms in the United States (Luca, Malhotra, and Poliquin, 2016). There have to be policies that encourage people to get permission from the government to produce and sell guns. Individuals of minority age or mentally unstable individuals in society do a significant number of school shootings. Therefore, there must be policies to do background checks on all the applicants that sell and own guns for effective gun control. Luca, Malhotra, and Poliquin (2016) state that restricting gun ownership of people with serious criminal records or mental instability is another method that the government could use to control the number of people who own guns but are unfit to hold the firearms.
There need to be restrictions when it comes to gun ownership. After the 1999 mass shooting at a school in Colorado, many people responded favorably to gun control surveys. Parents often agree that children must be protected against access to guns. There need to be measures that must be put in place to ensure that underage children do not gain access to adult-owned weapons (Luca, Malhotra, and Poliquin, 2016).
Before any gun control measures are put in place, it is vital to understand the reasons for the rise in school shootings. Politicians or authorities must not use gun control to profile individuals against racial or religious commitments. There have been issues of profiling where people from specific ethnic backgrounds are targeted in gun control. In this case, comprehensive, non-political studies must be conducted to establish the leading reasons for gun violence. Both Republicans and Democrats must agree on the policies to govern the number of guns that fall into the wrong hands. Security checks must also be increased at entry points in schools to reduce the number of people who enter school premises with guns. Fox and DeLateur stipulate that there should be a continuous mental evaluation of students to minimize the risks of them snapping and committing crimes due to mental disorders. Apart from the government, parents should also be encouraged to take a proactive role in teaching their children about the dangers of gun violence. Parents also should also take extra effort to keep their guns or deadly weapons out of reach from children.
- Luca, M., Malhotra, D., and Poliquin, C. (2016). The Impact of Mass Shootings on Gun Policy. [online] Hbs.edu. Available at: https://www.hbs.edu/faculty/Publication%20Files/16-126_23dbdd9e-2135-4a5c-9979-cebc6b6492e4.pdf [Accessed 4 Mar. 2019].
- Kalesan, B., Lagast, K., Villarreal, M., Pino, E., Fagan, J. and Galea, S. (2016). School shootings during 2013–2015 in the USA. [online] Pdfs.semanticscholar.org. Available at: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/d172/c1264bf67c7cd56cb2d173caecd73472ae98.pdf [Accessed 4 Mar. 2019].
- Fox, J. and DeLateur, M. (2013). Mass Shootings in America: Moving Beyond Newtown. [online] Dropbox.curry.com. Available at: http://dropbox.curry.com/ShowNotesArchive/2013/12/NA-576-2013-12-22/Assets/War%20on%20Crazy/Homicide%20Studies-2013.pdf [Accessed 4 Mar. 2019].