The Willistonian, Est. 1881

Gun Control Debate Heats Up Again

Marjory+Stoneman+Doughlas+High+School.+Credit%3A+Public+Domain.
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Gun Control Debate Heats Up Again

Marjory Stoneman Doughlas High School. Credit: Public Domain.

Marjory Stoneman Doughlas High School. Credit: Public Domain.

Marjory Stoneman Doughlas High School. Credit: Public Domain.

Marjory Stoneman Doughlas High School. Credit: Public Domain.

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The topic of gun control is back in the news again after the shooting on Wednesday, February 14, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

The Second Amendment States that it is “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms.” It is legal under the Constitution to own a gun that is properly certified, but the controversy lies in the means of obtaining a gun, age restrictions, improper background checks, and if there is an actual necessity to have military grade weapons for recreational use.

In the United States, 18-year-olds with a clean record can purchase shotguns and rifles. Nikolas Cruz, The culprit who killed 17 people in Parkland, Florida, obtained his rifle in a legal manner, raising the question as to why military grade rifles are necessary and why they can be obtained so easily at such a young age. Also, only threestates (California, Hawaii, and Connecticut) require permits to purchase firearms, and only California requires someone to take a written test and gun safety class before buying a gun.

A legislation to ban rifles and large gun magazines was recently squashed, but students around the country will not stay quiet. Their voices are being heard through protest. Many schools have organized 17-minute “walk outs,” leaving class to honor the students who died in Parkland.

Kevin Lassman (’19), was personally affected by the shooting. It occurred at his local high school, and he knew many victims as well as the shooter himself.

“I went to the school where the shooting happened and I knew the shooter,” Kevin said. “I went to school with him from kindergarten through 8th grade and he was always starting trouble, getting suspended from school, and pushing away support to help him.”

Gun control still remains a serious issue in our government, and many people have differing opinions about how the situation should be handled.

“It’s not the gun’s fault, it’s the person holding the gun,” Kevin said. “But they should have better background checks. The shooter had many problems in school and I can remember him assaulting a classmate. Also, his social media was bad and he had pictures posted of the scope from his gun. He should not have been able to legally obtain a gun.”

On the other hand, Sam Milnes (’18), thinks gun control won’t solve the problem our country is having.

“Criminals will always find a way to cause destruction,” he said.

At Williston, the security team works hard to keep everyone at the school safe, and is prepared for lockdown situations. Williston has never had a real lockdown; the Massachusetts State Police School Task Force, the Easthampton Police and Fire Departments, and other local emergency personnel have coordinated to plan, practice, and educate the Williston community.

With an open campus, Mrs. O’Connor agrees that it is harder for security to lock down the whole campus, but there is still a protocol.

“Every situation presents differently, so the actions that a person takes ultimately will depend on the circumstances,” she said. “If a student is outside and there is a lockdown, he/she should seek shelter in the closest building and get to a room that has the ability to lock.  Again, these actions depend on the circumstances.”

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Gun Control Debate Heats Up Again