Gun violence in schools has been a significant source of concern for parents and the general population. The number of students who die each year is staggering. However, I believe some ways can be introduced to prevent mass shootings in school. There is a need for the teachers to teach students social skills. The skills will be critical for children because it will teach them how to control their emotions. It will also play an essential role in ensuring students can negotiate with others and to recognize other people's emotions. The number of hours that children spend on computers is more than the time spent on the playground. The result is that children are not learning the necessary social skills which will help them deal with their emotions and therefore reduce and prevent student violence.
The schools should also hire more councilors to deal with the demand of the students and their emotional needs. The budget cuts in schools have meant that more schools are cutting down on hiring councilors while other lack this essential human resource. The increase in the number of people who are suffering from depression and anxiety can be handled by a qualified professional. The students who have taken up arms and slaughtered their colleagues have been found to be suffering from mental illness. If the students could have had professional help, the situation could have been avoided. The cost of hiring a trained counselor will cost the schools money, but at the end of the day, it will save lives.
The schools and the parents can also use technology to identify troubled students. Although technology can affect a child's emotional stability, it can also be used to harness the goodness of a child. Some features such as phone applications or text-based platforms can be used to alert parents and law enforcement agency if a child seems disturbed. Additionally, different authorities should enlist social media to detect a threat. Children who have engaged in a mass shooting have often posted things that would indicate they are troubled. If such posts were taken seriously, there is a probability that the child could get professional help. The parents and the community can also play a critical role in ensuring school violence is reduced. A parent should be keen to monitor his/her child and read the signs that show a sign of trouble. When a parent detects a mental illness, he/she should take the child to a mental health profession. The community can also play a key role in ensuring the children are mentally stable. Since many people are watching over the child, it is easy to detect when a child is in trouble and look for ways to address the challenge, therefore, prevent future violence.
Gun Policy of Other Countries
Spain has one of the toughest gun laws in Europe. The total number of guns in private hands is 3 million. The per capita of gun ownership is fewer than any country in Europe. The countries constitution does not prohibit ownership of guns, but it limits the number of firearms that an individual can have. The government gives people guns for work or to people who need it for self-protection.
Singapore probably has the strictest gun laws in the world. The country hardly allows any citizens to have firearms. However, there are few exemptions to the law. The Punishment for using a firearm in the country without a permit is death. If an individual has more than two guns, it is assumed he/she is trafficking guns (Firearms-Control Legislation and Policy, 2015). Trafficking guns is also an offense that is punishable by either death or life in prison.
Unlike Singapore, the United Kingdom allows people to own guns for self-protection. However, people are not allowed to have handguns unless they have a special permit from the police. A person who is allowed to own a gun is expected to keep it safe and locked up at all times (Bridges, 2000). The country has a stricter rule for owning guns than those imposed by the European Firearms directives. The high control of guns in private hands has been hailed as one of the reasons why the United Kingdom has one of the lowest rates of gun homicide in the world.
Just like the United Kingdom, Canada has some strict restriction when it comes to gun ownership. The country has classified its guns into three categories. There are unrestricted, restricted and prohibited firearms. Short guns fall under the category of unrestricted. Semi-automatic, on the other hand, are restricted while handguns are prohibited (Angela Dewan and Jamie Tarabay, 2017). There are fewer gun deaths in Canada than in the United States. The United States gun deaths are five times higher compared to that of the United Kingdom and Canada. The government has also put restrictions on fully automatic rifles and other similar firearms. A person needs to get a license to be able to acquire a gun. There should also be a test that one has to undergo to get the license. The criminal records and the psychiatric test are mandatory.
Finally, Australia has been hailed as a country that the US to copy to deal with its gun issues. The country has banned semi-automatic and automatic weapons after the mass shooting of 1996 (Chapman, Alpers, Agho, & Jones, 2006). The country has also set rules such as the need to have a license, taking safety classes and giving reasons why one needs a firearm. Self-defense is not a reason for one to buy a gun. There are also restrictions on short guns, and a person needs to wait for 28 days for approval. The person should also pass the storage requirements for both the gun and the ammunition.
Interpretation of the 2nd Amendment
The second amendment is a constitutional right that gives the citizen the right to keep and bear arm. The right, however, is not unlimited and the government can take this right away. People who are mentally ill or have been to prison, for example, are not allowed to own guns. The forefather intended to protect the country against invasion by foreign powers. The forefathers also intended to keep the power of the government under control by giving guns to a well-regulated militia. However, there have been debates between pro-gun advocates and anti-gun crusaders as to whether the second amendment is outdated and should be abolished. There are those that believe guns are a significant source of violence while others are of the opinion that weapons are necessary for protection. Despite the debates that have been raging in the country, people will still buy guns because the law allows them to purchase firearms. The government is, however, working on limiting the types of guns that people should own. There has also been measure such as intensive background checks that have been instituted to ensure people that are a danger to themselves and others do not get access to guns. The right to bear arms is a debate that will linger on for years to come until people reach a compromise as to the way the gun violence should be addressed. The deaths of hundreds of students in various schools have softened some hardliners of gun ownership. However, there are some that still believe guns are not the problem and their right to own a firearm should not be infringed.
The debate as to whether guns should be regulated has been ongoing for many years. The mass shootings that have been going on over the years have made some people believe that the problem of the mass shootings is the availability of guns. Although guns play a critical role in the mass shootings, I do not think this is the problem. Guns in safe hands can be used responsibly without causing mass shootings. More efforts should be put in place to ensure people who get guns are responsible and do not pose any threat either for themselves or to others around them.
Thee school shootings can be reduced if there are more background checks for the people who are buying guns. The licenses procedure should also be increased to ensure people who sell guns have enough time to look into the background information of the gun buyer. The semi-automatic rifles should also be banned because these are the weapons that have been used to commit most of the murders. People should also have a limited number of guns and ammunition that they can buy.
Angela Dewan and Jamie Tarabay. (2017, December 6). What the UK and Australia did differently after mass shootings. Retrieved from https://edition.cnn.com/2017/10/04/world/gun-control-uk-australia/index.html
Bridges, F. S. (2004). Gun Control Law (BILL C-17), Suicide, and Homicide in Canada. Psychological Reports, 94(3), 819-826. doi:10.2466/pr0.94.3.819-826
Chapman, S., Alpers, P., Agho, K., & Jones, M. (2006). Australia's 1996 gun law reforms: faster falls in firearm deaths, firearm suicides, and a decade without mass shootings. Injury Prevention, 12(6), 365-372. doi:10.1136/ip.2006.013714
Firearms-Control Legislation and Policy. (2015, July 30). Firearms-Control Legislation and Policy: Singapore | Law Library of Congress. Retrieved from https://www.loc.gov/law/help/firearms-control/singapore.php
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