Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877


Guns in schools


January 31, 2019

There has been shootings at schools for decades, but none like the shootings of today. The first mass school shooting was at the University of Texas, with 17 people killed, which included the shooter, Charles Whitman. He went to school with the intent to kill as many people as possible.

The next mass school shooting didn’t occur until 1999, when two Columbine students killed 13 and wounded 21 others before committing suicide.

Since then, school shootings have become much more frequent. Between Columbine and today, there have been 11 school shootings in which more than five people have died, and dozens of others where there weren’t as many casualties. That is a lot of shootings, and a lot of people dead.

We need to stop these shooting and the current strategy of using signs doesn’t seem to work. The Gun Free Zone Act of 1990 hasn’t done anything to stop a shooting. There have been more mass shootings in schools since the implementation of that law, than there were before that law came into existence.

Everybody has been scrambling for a definitive answer to stop school shootings, and we have seen measures on both sides of the aisle, with Democrats calling for more gun control, which goes against the Constitution, while Republicans have tried implementing concealed carry for teachers in several states.

More gun control is not the answer, because obviously, criminals don’t follow the rules in the first place, and secondly, it is adding restrictive rights to normal law-abiding American citizens who are being punished for the actions of a few.

Republicans have tried to implement concealed carry for teachers, and while a few schools have started, it hasn’t taken hold in most parts of the US yet.

While many people disagree with this, I feel like this is a very plausible solution to our problem. They essentially will function as armed guards for students, while simultaneously teaching them. Guns are amazing to protect people, otherwise we wouldn’t guard embassies with guns, we wouldn’t protect our President with guns, or our Congress, and militaries across the world wouldn’t use guns. Our police carry guns with them for the same reason, to protect themselves while they deal with the ugly side of society that nobody likes to admit exists. Now I am not saying to give any teacher a gun, but the majority of teachers should have one. I am still in high school, and I would trust any of my teachers to carry a gun. I know most of my teachers are familiar with guns, and I would automatically feel safer knowing they had a gun, but even those without experience around guns, with the proper training, I would trust them just the same. In addition to armed teachers, every school should always have at least one resource officer there.

I know that due to the general distaste surrounding police jobs now, and their knack for being dangerous, many departments are low on manpower, and cannot afford to put extra people at each and every school.

So, a possible solution to that is simple: veterans. There are hundreds of thousands of veterans across the United States. These veterans are literally trained to shoot guns properly and deal with other people shooting back. It is a perfect fit. I know many veterans would be proud to guard a school. Veterans have repeatedly shown bravery under fire, and their stories of courage and selflessness are in the millions. I am willing to bet any one of them would gladly give their life or, if needed, take another’s life to save children. In conclusion, regardless of whatever path may be chosen, I believe that we should put more guns in schools, as long as they are in the right hands. Why not give it a chance, since the current signs hanging on the wall are not working.

--Sam Pritchard, Rosalia

Pritchard submitted this letter to meet one of the requirements for the Boy Scout Communications merit badge.


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