Michigan Shooting Sparks Necessity for Gun Control

Gun reform protests are widespread following many school shooting events.

 

Hopefully everyone has heard about the fatal shooting at Michigan’s Oxford High School, as Education week qualifies it as the deadliest shooting so far this year. In addition to Oxford High School’s shooting, one person was fatally shot at Humboldt High School in Tennessee on the same day. Two shootings on the same day is an unimaginable low and should raise concern about America’s necessity for stricter gun laws. 

As usual, news reporters, social media influencers and politicians make posts expressing their condolences and offering thoughts and prayers, yet they hesitate to take action against the cause of the shootings. In order to implement stricter gun laws, politicians must work past “thoughts and prayers” and work towards policy change. 

Michigan prosecutor Karen McDonald expresses frustration with Michigan gun laws, stating that most teenagers are able to use firearms, as they embrace the tradition of hunting. 

“To prevent further tragedies like the one we witnessed yesterday, and at large, we have got to address responsible gun ownership in this country and Oakland County,” McDonald said.

I agree with McDonald’s statement, in that responsible gun ownership is vital to better protecting our communities. State legislators in Michigan must pick up the debate around gun control and work towards creating safer communities. 

In June 2021, the Biden-Harris administration announced a comprehensive strategy to prevent and respond to gun crime and ensure public safety. President Joe Biden believes “that the surge in gun violence that has affected communities across the country over the last year and a half is unacceptable, and his Administration is moving decisively to act with a whole-of-government approach as we enter the summer months when cities typically experience a spike in violence.” 

While Biden’s statement seems progressive, after his six months in office, it is evident that there is still room for reform. 

Most Americans expressed general concern and condolences for the victims that passed in the Michigan shooting. However, not everyone in America held the same sensitivity. Kentucky state representative Thomas Massie posted a photo with his family with all of them holding large guns shortly after the Michigan shooting. Massie’s family photoshoot displays a distasteful lack of sensitivity for the recent events in America. In order for our country to establish a safe environment in schools without gun violence, all politicians must be able to recognize the problem. 

Most Democrats push for reform in gun laws, with policies that include universal background checks, exempting firearm safety devices from state taxes, preventing those convicted of domestic violence from possessing firearms for several years and allowing gun bans on local government property. Although these policies are hard to implement because of Republican disagreement, they are necessary to implement to work towards safer communities and a decrease in gun violence. Some Republican law-makers fear that there will be an overreaction to the recent school shootings and that the gun laws that may be implemented would be overbearing. However, I believe that stricter gun laws are far from an overreaction and are necessary to hopefully decrease deaths in school shootings and to create a safer setting for students. 

This year, there have been 29 school shootings, which resulted in 60 people dead or injured. As a former high school student, the possibility of a school shooting always crossed my mind. These brutal murders and traumatic experiences for the children of America must come to an end. Students should feel comfortable attending school every day without the worry that it may be their last day alive. The only way America can work towards that goal is by increasing the security and control around gun ownership. 

“School is supposed to be a safe space, and children and teenagers should not have to walk in every day in fear of what could happen,” Villanova student Hannah Sweeney said. “Gun violence is an urgent and pressing issue, and reformers should not keep waiting around for more shootings to decide if the laws need tightening. While it is impossible to prevent all violence in school, it is undeniable that having easy access to a gun allows for acts of aggression to quickly turn into massacres”. 

There are many small ways to show support for better gun control in America. Most people attend demonstrations and protests to show their support. Some donate to gun control organizations and contact local officials to demonstrate interest in the importance of gun control. Others post on social media and join local leadership groups to show their support. Working towards stricter gun laws is a vital cause for American safety, and it’s never too late to show support.