Gun control alternatives would be ineffective

David Micali, Crier Staff

Let me start by saying I am angry.

I’m angry.

The Columbine High School massacre happened two months before I was born. I was seven when the Virginia Tech shooting happened, thirteen during Sandy Hook, fifteen during San Bernardino, sixteen during the Charleston church shooting, seventeen during the Pulse night club, and eighteen during Las Vegas, Sutherland Springs and now Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

I am angry that I grew up in a world where mass shootings are all I know, I am infuriated that they keep happening, and I am enraged that we have yet to do a thing about it.

The point of this opinion is not to convince you why we need to take action but rather to take a closer look at some of the alternatives to gun regulation that have been suggested.

I will use examples from America’s long history of mass shootings to disprove some of the solutions put forward.

A prevalent argument following the Sandy Hook shooting has gained new life when President Trump suggested that teachers should be armed with concealed weapons during a meeting he held with survivors and victim’s families in the White House on Wednesday, Feb. 21.

According to the President, “if you had a teacher who was adept with the firearm, they could end the attack very quickly.” He added that, of course, they would be trained in firearm safety.

Yes, between teaching children their ABCs and 1, 2, 3’s, Ms. Frizzle will have to learn how to shoot an AR-15.

The main problem with this solution is most teachers do not want to be armed. A 2013 poll conducted by the School Improvement Network following the Sandy Hook shooting found that 72 percent of teachers say they would not carry a firearm at work. Teachers are educators, not armed guards.

I have had several teachers who would not want the responsibility that comes with a firearm. In fact, I have had several teachers where the odds that I would not bleed out before the paramedics arrived would be higher if they were responsible for my safety. Besides, this does not address other types of mass shootings.

There have been shootings at churches, concerts, nightclubs, offices, and movie theaters. Armed teachers would not stop those shootings. Arming teachers is a ridiculous solution to mass shootings.

The NRA and several politicians including, most recently, the Governor of Kentucky have blamed the culture in which we live for the mass shootings, attributing the shootings to violent video games and music.

It is true that Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook Shooter, frequently played video games. However, he played nonviolent video games such as Dance, Dance, Revolution and Super Mario Bros.

If one were to believe that the current culture and its regard to violence is the cause of mass shootings, then one would expect that a time before video games and violent music would not have experienced mass shootings. This is historically not the case.

On September 6, 1949, Howard Unruh killed thirteen people in a shooting spree in Camden, NJ. Another shooting took place on August 1, 1966, when a sniper, Charles Whitman, climbed to the top of the University of Texas’s clock tower and opened fire on the campus below. He killed sixteen people before he was killed by the police.

Both of these mass shootings happened long before the invention of video games and the Camden shooting took place before “violent music.” Our attitudes towards violence are not causing the violence.

Another common alternative to gun regulation is putting metal detectors in schools, a solution that was widely proposed after the Columbine shooting in 1999.

This suggestion is short sighted as metal detectors simply alert a person to the presence of something metal.

Metal detectors do not stop a gunman from entering a school, church, or movie theater. Metal detectors are like a Band-Aid; they stop the bleeding, they do not prevent the person from bleeding in the first place.

In some cases, such as Stoneman Douglas High School, a metal detector in the school would provide a warning that would have come too late.

Nikolas Cruz, the alleged Florida High School Shooter, began his shooting spree in the parking lot and then proceeded to enter the school according to the Broward County Sheriff Department. Metal detectors do not stop mass shootings.

A common sentiment held by gun advocates is the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

Who are the good guys? Cops. So the proposed solution of putting a cop in every school seems like a natural solution. The main reason why I disagree with this solution is history has shown it does not work.

Similar to most large colleges and universities, Virginia Tech has its own police department. This did little to stop Seung-Hui Cho from killing thirty-two people on April 16, 2007 in the deadliest school shooting in the nation’s history.

It is true that Cho was eventually killed by the VTPD but that was after thirty-two people lay dead. The VTPD failed to prevent the shooting from happening. A cop in every school would not work.

Finally, there is the old solution of thoughts and prayers. It is true that as Catholics, we believe that through Christ, anything is possible, so praying seems to be a perfect solution.

In her opening monologue the night after the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, comedian Samantha Bee talked about how we keep praying and these things keep happening. She explained that maybe we are “not praying right.” With this thought in mind, she quoted the Bible and found a passage in the Book of James that seems to suggest why prayers alone are not enough.

According to James 2:17, “so also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” In other words, the Bible says our words need to be accompanied by actions. It is not enough to say that we are going to do something; we actually have to do it.

We need to do something, before, God forbid, something happens at Manchester Community College, or SNHU, or even here, on the Hilltop. It’s a sad world we are living in and until we can fix the nation’s gun problem, these mass shootings will continue to happen; there is no questions regarding that fact.

The only questions we do not know are, as the Boston Globe put so eloquently, where it will happen, who is the shooter, and how many will die.

It’s a matter of when, not if.