Year since national protest, shootings continue

Sarah Barsky , Opinion Editor

Almost a year ago, one of the biggest protests led by young people in history, March For Our Lives, occurred. The shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on Valentines Day 2018 sparked outrage nationwide. In response to this shooting, on March 14, 2018 thousands of students around the globe walked out of their classrooms protesting America’s lack of gun laws for 17 minutes, representing the 17 students killed in this disastrous event.

The goal of this protest was to strengthen gun laws so tragedies like these won’t be repeated, in hopes that students may attend school everyday without fear. Unfortunately, as we look back on measures implemented to strengthen gun control, there are yet but few improvements to our gun epidemic. Some slight improvements have been made by big retail chain stores like Dick’s Sporting Goods. They have stopped selling semi-automatic rifles like AR-15s and higher-capacity magazines, both of which the 19-year-old Parkland shooter Nicolas Cruz used.

They also created a new policy where only 21-year-olds and up can purchase a gun. Florida, as the state in which the Parkland shooting took place, decided to take matters into its own hands. The governor of Florida, Rick Scott, signed a bill that entailed raising the minimum age required to buy guns from 18 to 21-years-old.

It also included the banning of bump stocks that enable weapons to fire bullets more rapidly. With these new restrictions, the shooting in Florida could have been minimized or stopped, however, these laws are are not national and change is needed. Just four days after the March For Our Lives protest and a little more than a month after the Parkland shooting, another deadly event occurred. At a high school in Santa Fe, Texas, eight students and two teachers were killed.

The 17-year-old shooter stole a gun from his father. Raising the minimum age required to purchase this deadly weapon would not have prevented this shooting. This gun epidemic creates more victims. Three in ten Americans own a gun. Stricter gun laws need to be implemented to reduce these numbers. It should be harder to obtain a gun than it is now.

The goal of March for Our Lives has not been achieved. However, we’ve made more progress than in the aftermath of other big school mass shootings like Columbine and Sandy Hook. The small improvements that have been made aren’t enough to stop school shootings.

If there are stricter rules for buying guns, more in depth background checks and more security for those who hold guns in their homes, these huge shootings will stop and the lives of innocent students will be saved.