School Shooting puts Spotlight on Gun Control

Friends and family show their support at candlelight vigil.

LA Times

Friends and family show their support at candlelight vigil.

Thousands of students, teachers, and family members attended the candlelight vigil held for the victims of the Santa Clarita school shooting on November 17.

15-year-old Gracie Anne Muehlberger and 14-year-old Dominic Blackwell were the two students killed after another student opened fire at Saugus High School on November 14. Three other students were wounded. 

This latest school shooting is among the many that have happened this year alone. According to Education Week, there have been 23 school shootings resulting in injuries or deaths in 2019. Since 1970 there have been over 1,350 school shootings, according to the Center for Homeland Defense and Security. They record “each and every instance in which a gun is brandished, fired, or a bullet hits school property for any reason, regardless of the number of victims (including zero), time, day of week, or reason (e.g. planned attack, accidental, domestic violence, gang-related).” The shootings have resulted in over 200 deaths and roughly 450 injuries. 

As the number of school shootings go up, one can’t help but wonder what is being done to prevent the next one. How many lives must be lost before the government decides to take action and reform America’s current gun policies?

  Sanderson junior Anna Hofelt stated, “No amount of drills or school policies can make students and teachers feel safer at school. After the government decides to step in and change gun regulations, then schools will feel safer.”

  An appropriate step towards decreasing the amount of shootings would be to ban assault weapons. This reduces the possibility of a lethal weapon falling into the wrong hands. Placing a ban on high-capacity magazines would not reduce the number of shootings, but it could reduce the number of victims. This would decrease the amount of shots released, therefore, minimizing fatalities. Lastly, the law should implement universal background checks. Currently, background checks are only required from licensed gun dealers. This would also prevent a firearm from getting into the hands of someone who has violence issues or previously misused a gun.

  The fact that this latest shooting is not surprising shows how desensitized society has  become to gun violence and demonstrates the lack of gun policies. If no changes are made, the number of shootings and deaths can only go up.