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Gun-Free Zones Are Putting Children In Danger

Political cartoon about the success of gun free zones by Chip Bok.

Chip Bok

Political cartoon about the success of gun free zones by Chip Bok.

Ellie Natoli, Writer

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An issue America has been facing in recent years is mass shootings in public areas.  

A “solution” called “gun free zones” has been made popular ever since its introduction in 1990 with the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990.  People may expect this to be a great way to keep students safe, but that is far from the truth.

Between January of 1998 and December of 2015, 96.2% of mass public shootings occurred in gun-free zones according to crimeresearch.org, meaning just 3.8% of these shootings were carried out in places where guns are allowed.  This statistic shows that people are definitely at lower risk in areas where guns are allowed, and it also proves that gun free zones are not only failing to discourage shootings, but they are essentially inviting these incidents to happen and are attracting criminals.

Some wonder how this could be, but if you think about it, it is easy to understand why this is true.  The criminals who commit mass shootings go to schools that are labeled as gun-free because they know they can’t be stopped.  Gun-free zones create the perfect environment for an evil person to commit evil acts.

Not only are parents getting on board, but people working in schools are also seeing the benefit of having guns in schools.  Mr. Stipa, principal of the white house at Perkiomen Valley said, “At some point I see it happening. More and more schools are getting on board, and law enforcement has recommended it.” Mr. Stipa also sees that there would be setbacks.  He also stated, “I believe with all the research I’ve done on the subject, that I would recommend it but I also understand the political statement it makes.”

Teachers should be given the opportunity to be equipped with knowledge and should be properly trained with firearms, and if they are comfortable, be given the option to bring a firearm to the school in a concealed carry fashion where they teach. In addition to that, children should be taught firearm safety and responsibility from a young age so they know how to behave around them.

One kind of  place that is almost always a gun-free zone would be public schools, but this is something that many parents and students across the country have wanted to change for years. A mother of three children who attend/attended the Perkiomen Valley School District sees the need for guns in schools. “I think that all teachers should carry guns in school in case an intruder comes in. They can prevent that person from hurting students before it is too late.” Allowing teachers to do so could prevent school shootings all across the nation.

All anyone has to do to understand that point of view is imagine the lives that would have been saved if teachers carried guns during the Columbine shooting, Sandy Hook shooting, and Red Lake shooting. In just those three school shootings, a total of 53 student and teacher lives could have been saved with instant firearm intervention, and another 33 additional lives could have been saved had there been someone to intervene in the shooting at Virginia Tech in 2007.  Dozens of severe and life threatening injuries that came from these shootings also had the potential to be completely avoided had the teachers been given the ability to have a gun in school.

Many people who support firearms in schools do not think that having every teacher carry should be mandatory, but think that having armed security guards and armed faculty in the main offices of schools would be sufficient. When school shooting crises occur, the police must be called and the wait time is absolutely detrimental.  Giving all teachers, or at least some a firearm allows instant action and could be the difference between life and death for all members of a school’s community.

Dave Slowik is a father and sees the harm in making schools gun-free zones. “The solution to these shootings is not having gun related zones. If there’s a concealed carry law then there doesn’t need to be one, the criminals would never be able to know who has guns.”  Slowik also believes that criminals will be less attracted to schools as they would not expect to just walk into a school without risk of someone defending against their attacks like they can today.

Gun-zones do the opposite of their intended purpose and should therefore be eradicated.  They put children and teachers in harm’s way and leave them defenseless in the face of crisis. Parents, students, and administrators alike are getting on board with the idea.  These zones are magnets to tragedy and doing the opposite of their stated goal. Giving teachers the ability to bring guns to schools will save lives.

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Gun-Free Zones Are Putting Children In Danger