Cat's Claw

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Gun control won’t prevent school shootings

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Before this article begins, the Cat’s Claw staff would like to say that what happened in Parkland, Florida, was a tragedy. Our hearts go out to the students whose lives were lost and those who lost their friends or family members.

The March for Our Lives movement started after a former Stoneman Douglas High School student opened fire in the halls of the school and killed 17 students. On March 24, high school students led a demonstration requesting stricter gun control by marching in Washington, D.C. Sibling events were held all over the country.

The students are calling for stricter gun control laws across the nation. The movement has three demands for the government: 1. Pass a law to ban the assault weapons frequently used to carry out mass shootings. 2. Stop the sale of high-capacity magazines, which would restrict the amount of ammunition. 3. Close loopholes in America’s background checks and implement laws that require background checks on every gun purchase, including those that occur online or at gun shows.

Unfortunately, many people in this country are under the impression that the AR-15 is an assault weapon, but that is not true at all. The “AR” does not stand for assault rifle. AR-15’s are manufactured by the brand Armalite, and AR is the standard name for several of their guns.

Assault weapons are defined as firearms that have selectable firing modes and can be fired in fully automatic mode. Fully automatic is when the trigger only has to be pulled once and held to release multiple bullets at a time. Semi-automatic mode is when the trigger has to be pulled for each individual bullet fired. The problem with people just now calling for the ban of assault weapons is that fully automatic firearms have been banned in the United States since 1986.

The Parkland school shooting could have been stopped by the officer that waited outside of the school instead of going in when he heard shots being fired, or it could have been prevented completely by the FBI, who failed to take into account all the warning signs of a possible future school shooter. Clearly, law enforcement shouldn’t be the only people allowed to have firearms because sometimes they mess up, too.

Our high school has had armed teachers for the past several years, and it has yet to present a problem. All the armed teachers received specialized training. Students are not aware of exactly which teachers are armed for their safety, but it creates a stronger sense of security in the case of a dangerous event.

Shootings are a tragedy, but we can’t let feelings trump facts. The facts are that with or without guns being legal, there will be people who want to hurt others and will find some way to achieve that, either with knives, bombs or guns. As awful as it is, evil exists in this world. It is better for people to be armed against it than to be left defenseless.

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About the Writer
Olivia Taggart, Photo Editor

This is my second year on the newspaper staff as a photo editor.

I participate in the school's marching band and FFA. In my free time, I like to listen...

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Gun control won’t prevent school shootings