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The mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has thrusted this country into a gun control craze. It's a wide spread belief that mass school shootings are on the rise, and can only be stopped by the removal of semi-automatic rifles and the implementation of serious gun control legislation. There is now a fresh study released by Northeastern University that takes on the role of the devils advocate.
Time to get to the meat and potatoes of it all. The telling comparison takes us back to the early 90's, where "four times the number of children were killed in schools." The numbers even show that incidents involving students and guns have declined in the same allotted time. There have been 16 shootings that involved multiple victims since 1996, with eight being mass shootings (four or more deaths excluding the assailant). Lets not forget to mention the rarity of mass shootings, which occur 20-30 times a year. Only one of those incidents happen at a school.
Steel grip gun control wont be the answer, but some obvious legislation revisions should help curb what certainly feels like an uptick in the severity of the shootings. Trumps push for banning of bump stocks is an easy move that should improve the difficulty of obtaining fully automatic capabilities. Although the death toll at Virginia Tech in 2007 shows that just as much damage can be levied with handguns.
Pushing the legal age to obtain firearms to 21 isn't the end of the world either. Of course this scares the NRA and the members that will lose cash from lost consumers, but allowing "adults" to mature abit further is logical. With that said, don't even ask what impact a federal law changing the minimum age would have on our military, because it'll be a tough sell allowing the same 18 year olds to wield a weapon in the name of the stars and stripes.
Many discussions and debates regarding gun legislation remain. It's a trial and error situation that can't afford error. With these discussions comes a need to be seated in reality. The tear soaked screams from the left that we have a school shooting epidemic is fearmongering at its finest, and as time goes on we find more and more evidence pointing towards another truth. It's becoming clearer and clearer that this is a mental health problem along with issues in gun purchasing processes. In a world that celebrates children questioning their own biology, training them to seek online social approval from strangers, and protects them from imaginary attacks like "micro-aggressions," it's no wonder we ended up where we are. Let's shift some of this energy and focus into the improvement of our mentally weak youth. On the other hand, we can continue to invite children onto national news networks (I'm looking at you CNN) to push legislative issues on an emotional platform instead of a platform based in reason.
If you need more evidence to point to mental health being the priority, just look at the story of Keith Simons. The 13-year-old admired the assailants of Columbine High School, and decided to bring a long rifle to school. He bailed on his plan and killed himself in the bathroom, but here is an excerpt from documents found on Simons phone.
“I’ll look in to those scared little britches eyes before I kill them there’s now I’ll have followers because I’m so awesome I know someone will follow me just like I followed Eric Harris and Dylan Klebolt’s me and them want close to the same thing, It’s going to be fun……They say school shootings are horrible but they don’t think like us like me Eric and Dylan….”
If that doesn't scream mental healths issues, I'm not sure what would. Chilling.
To read through the entirety of Northeastern's study, click HERE.