Stricter gun laws are a necessity


Addy Kondik

Student holds poster in protest for gun control at school amidst recent political debate.

One of the many things we face as students in today’s age is the threat of a school shooting, which, in some instances, surpasses being a threat and instead becomes a horrifying reality. 

While some may believe it is something we will never have to experience ourselves, we have repeatedly been shown the issue is something much closer to us than we would ever admit, not only through the events that occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018, but also through the threat Jupiter High faced. 

We were once again reminded of this danger after the mass shooting in November 2021 in Mich. at Oxford High School, which resulted in the death of four people and the injury of eight others. 

In the time since, the issue has only grown, once again prompting the debate in the U.S. about gun safety and regulations, which, for some reason, has become a political matter. 

Both political parties, Republican and Democrat, agree that school shootings are an issue that need to be dealt with for the safety of our nation’s children. 

However, each party has different opinions regarding the root of the problem and how to fix it, and more often than not, instead of working to resolve the issue, they blame one another, further dividing our country and causing its citizens to agree with political extremes. 

As a student, and as a child who has grown up to recognize school shootings as an unfortunate part of life, the fact that these parties bicker like the children they fail to protect is completely ridiculous, and would be laughable if the situation wasn’t so serious. 

Now, I understand where each side is coming from. As an American citizen, I have been taught to value and cherish the rights and freedoms bestowed upon me, rights which include the right to bear arms, and I have seen what a gun is capable of if in the wrong hands. 

However, as a human being, I question why people are more concerned about their rights than the lives of their children and why, in instances where a student, such as myself, is murdered at the hands of a deranged psychopath, does our government find the bigger issue to be whether or not gun laws should be stricter (not taken away or violated, simply stricter), or the fact that kids are dying because these laws are not. 

I was in elementary school, first grade, when I heard about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that killed 26 people. I was six when I realized it could be dangerous to simply be a student and go to school. I was a child when I was confronted with the thought that I wasn’t safe at school, and like those other kids my age, I could die because of a psychopath and a gun.

The issue has not gone away, and it has certainly not gotten better. Instead, it seems to grow with me, and as a 16, almost 17-year-old, I am still aware that school is not a safe environment for me, or for anyone else, and I am sure that others my age have also learned the same thing.

Now, our future generation is beginning to learn the same lesson, surrounded by the knowledge and weight of these shootings in a way that I am now, a few short years away from adulthood, only beginning to experience. 

We, your brothers, sisters, sons and daughters, don’t care about which political party agrees with what. We don’t care. 

What we do care about, what I care about, is that something is done in order to save our lives, and if that means stricter gun laws, than so be it. If it means fewer children are frightened to go to school, fewer students are forced to learn lockdown drills, fewer people lose their lives, then I agree with it. 

People should still have their right to own guns and bear arms, but the laws and regulations definitely need to be stricter, for the safety of me and everyone else. This shouldn’t be an issue of politics, but instead, an issue of saving lives.