By: Sumaiya Ara
A tragic shooting at Robb Elementary School took place on the 24th of May in the city of Uvalde at 11:32 AM local time which resulted in the death of at least 19 people – 18 kids and a teacher. The gunman was an 18-year-old man who was killed by law enforcement. He was carrying a handgun, AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and high-capacity magazines. The suspect was killed by a US Border Patrol official who was nearby the shooting as it began. The official shot the suspect who was taking cover behind a barricade. The suspect may have also killed his grandmother before he opened fire in the school. The students were happy as the last day of classes was scheduled for Thursday.
School shootings in the United States are not as rare as some might think. In 2012 there was another shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut which shocked the entire nation. Twenty out of twenty-six victims in the attack were between 5 and 6 years of age. It was the second-deadliest mass shooting in the U.S after the 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech. 32 students and teachers were killed before the gunman commited suicide. The gunman was armed with a semi-automatic rifle, two semi-automatic pistols and lots of ammunition.
These are some of the most deadliest mass shootings in the U.S and the government isn’t doing enough to address and fix this issue – guns. The main problem in the U.S is that guns are too easy to obtain. In the state of Texas, residents do not need a permit to buy handguns. The only requirement for buying a handgun is age. A person has to be at least 21 years old to buy a handgun and they must be at least 18 years old to possess a firearm in general. If this isn’t absurd enough, there are exceptions to the last rule for minors who are under adult supervision. Texas does not require residents to register long arms or handguns. The state also does not require an owner license for firearms.
These laws are examples of just one state. There is no mental health check when buying a gun in some states. It is essentially a gamble when it comes to mentally unstable people obtaining guns. In a lot of mass shooting cases there are precursors such as making threats online, at school or at other public places but these threats are not taken seriously until there is a tragedy.
Some ways to tackle this major gun violence problem is to educate students from an early age, implement better gun laws, reduce access, provide mental health solutions, etc. Implementing new educational programs regarding guns at schools is very doable and it can save lots of lives. If students are aware of the dangers of guns and the power of guns when misused, it will lead to less shootings especially at schools. Having tougher laws will mean access to guns will be harder and there will be less guns in circulation. Another way to reduce the guns in circulation is by having gun buy-back programs. These are incentivized programs by the government which encourage people to sell certain guns to authorities. Another major way to address gun violence is by promoting mental health. Most of the time school shooters/mass shooters have underlying mental health problems which are never addressed. This is a problem that can be tackled by trained professionals who can give them another chance at having a fresh life. But an easy solution for these people is to channel their frustrations through the use of guns, leading to the deaths of the innocent lives of children.