Gun control/school shootings


EICs Izzy Cavazzoni and Courtney Kushnir look back on their time with The Inkblot.

“If I Don’t Make it, I Love You.”

Trapped inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. on Feb.14, a student texted a loved one while hiding from an active shooter.

According to the New York Times, Nikolas Cruz killed 17 students that day with a civilian version of a military assault rifle, purchased legally. Though these tragedies strike a chord in people’s’ hearts, this country’s gun laws probably will not change.

If the deaths of 20 elementary school students from Sandy Hook Elementary School six years ago didn’t convince Americans that gun laws need serious change, this shooting almost definitely won’t sway them. Politicians may send their ‘thoughts and prayers,’ but their words seem empty when they don’t take any serious actions to change the very laws that could’ve kept these kids safe.

We may have the the National Rifle Association (NRA) to thank for that. BBC reports that the NRA spends about $250 million per year, more than every gun control advocacy group in the country combined.

The NRA donates roughly $3 million per year lobbying politicians to support their staunch interpretation of the Second Amendment – that anyone can buy, own and shoot a firearm. Lobbyists for the NRA have prevented comprehensive gun control laws from even being considered in Congress.

Cruz, a 19-year-old alumnus of Stoneman Douglas, used an AR-15 assault rifle in the Parkland school shooting, a rifle that he legally and easily obtained. Cruz used his social media accounts to post photos of weapons and dead animals. He commented on YouTube, under his own name, that he wanted to become a ‘professional school shooter,’ according to the New York Times.

An anonymous tip to the FBI against Cruz didn’t even seem to hinder his ability to purchase a deadly weapon.

Former President Bill Clinton banned civilian use of assault rifles in 1994, weapons such as the one used by Cruz and the gunmen in the Las Vegas shooting on Oct. 1 and the shooting at a Texas church on Nov. 5, 2017.

A 2004 University of Pennsylvania study concluded that the federal ban on assault rifles and large capacity magazines reduced the number of crimes using these weapons, according to the Huffington Post. But Congress refused to renew the ban after it lapsed 10 years later.

It is far too easy for civilians, let alone teenagers like Cruz, to obtain assault rifles.

This country’s gun laws probably will not change. Unless we, the generation that has been rocked by one too many school shootings, do something about it.

Research your local representative. Call them. Participate in school walkouts, protests and marches, make sure our government hears your voice. And even if you don’t support heavier gun control, make your voice heard too. Knowing both sides of an issue is the only way to obtain unbiased polls and information. And a bipartisan compromise on gun legislation may just be what this country needs to stop school shootings.

Even gun lobbyists agree that children our age should never be shot down in school. But they will keep throwing money at politicians to support their agenda, to put more guns in the hands of civilians and we can’t change that.

But we can change the ways that politicians make decisions, and in turn, keep our nation’s children safe in schools.