Gun Violence: Find our Voice

Jaqueline+Almaraz+%E2%80%9822+poses+with+a+picture+of+people+on+top+of+a+gun+with+%E2%80%98End+Gun+Violence%E2%80%99+written+on+her+arm.+%E2%80%9CWe+are+the+future%E2%80%9D+-+Jaqueline+Almaraz+%E2%80%9822

Faviana Bazan

Jaqueline Almaraz ‘22 poses with a picture of people on top of a gun with ‘End Gun Violence’ written on her arm. “We are the future” – Jaqueline Almaraz ‘22

Faviana Bazan ‘22, Writer

In America, the debate over gun control has always been controversial from how we should interpret the Second Amendment to the ability to have any type of guns given to citizens. 

To fully understand why there is a lot of talk around guns and its control, one has to look at the Second Amendment. It states, “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” (U.S Constitution). Some people focus on the first half which talks about militias and how they are necessary to protect liberty and the integrity of freedom. 

The second part of the Second Amendment, which speaks on the right for the people to bear arms, has been very much debated throughout the years due to political unrest between the parties. In the complexity of the Second Amendment, the podcast “More Perfect: The Gun Show” goes into the history of the Second Amendment and how it came to be. 

The focus on gun control is only on the second half of this amendment. There are two sides to this argument: many argue that the right to bear arms is a fundamental right for every citizen while others agree but want more control in how arms are distributed. The ability to have an unlimited supply of arms could sound amazing to those who are anti-gun control, but when do we draw the line when it comes to mass shootings and the risk of innocent students? 

There are stereotypes on how the U.S is well-known for their school shootings and their protections of guns over citizens. These stereotypes have truth: the U.S is ranked number one in gun ownership per capital and guns are the leading cause of death in young people (WAMU). Pritzker student, Victor King, who is also on the Principal Advisory Council stated, “The Second Amendment is there, but there should be laws in place where a regular civilian isn’t carrying a gun that isn’t used in wars.” But how do guns end up in the hands of those who cannot attain them? 

Many school shootings are caused by the student getting a gun from their parents or a close member, despite 39% of parents thinking they are hiding their guns well, around 68% of students still get a hold of them (Sandy Hook Promise). The number of kids that live in a home with a loaded and unlocked gun is around 4.6 million (Sandy Hook Promise). 

The idea of kids being able to get a gun is not that difficult to comprehend. Along with the failure of the school, parents and those who expressed concern but failed to act on it are also to blame. A study showed that four in five people knew about the attacker’s plan but did not report it (Sandy Hook Promise). 

Cory Cain, the Dean of Instruction at Pritzker, stated, “If you see something, do not hold it in.” He goes on to say, “A lot of the students who are shooting up place- they have needs that aren’t being met.”This can lead to serious problem from suicide by a gun to a mass shooting. 

In the first two months of 2022 alone there were 50 gun incidents (Gun Violence Archive). School shootings have been a major problem in our country and we need to do something to change that.  

The way to combat this issue is to simply speak on it and speak against gun violence. We have seen throughout the country the disparities of gun violence. We can seek change through reducing gun access to the youth, going to protests, sharing information about gun violence, and influencing our political representatives. An approach that is closer to home is being able to fully explain what safety precautions there currently are at Pritzker and ensure a better way of protecting the students. As Cain stated, “Let’s  start making these changes…my faith is in young people.”  Our voice is one of many solutions. Let’s speak.