A Deeper Issue

By Sam Cary, Sports Photography Editor

There are many lessons that people learn as they get older, one of these being that there are always two sides to every story, argument, or article. This is especially true when it comes to the highly debated subject of gun control in our country. No matter what side of the spectrum one falls on, people can agree that there is a deeper issue in our nation and that changing gun control laws will, at best, only place a temporary bandage on a widespread epidemic. This is not a divide of Republicans and Democrats, but rather an issue of kindness, respect and mental health.

For people who end up hurting themselves or others, there is a long chain of events that gets them into that mindset. The statistics show that the people who have these thoughts are the ones who have been judged and excluded their entire lives. These are the students who sit alone at lunch or are constantly being ridiculed on others Snapchat stories. Right now, parts of the nation is blaming guns for the horrendous school shootings, but the root of the issue is why people get to the point of wanting to do this. Mental health is such an issue in our society and we are using a piece of metal as a distraction because it is easier to address.

The proposed changes in gun restrictions involve changing the age to purchase a gun in the US from 18 to 21. Even though it is already 21 in Missouri. This is merely just changing a number on a piece of paper. It is a well known fact that students have the ability to get their hands on illegal things. Take the amount of students who have been intoxicated before. Legally, students are not allowed to drink until they are 21-years-old, yet 15-year-olds have found ways to indulge. This will be the same way if we increase the age that people can buy guns. If a student gets into the mindset that they want to hurt a school, they will find a way to either gain possession of a gun or find other ways to do damage. As a country, we should focus on helping students that suffer from being excluded rather than restricting the ability to own a gun.

In the current high school generation students are so focused on themselves and their close circle of friends; this is the mentality that needs to change, not gun restrictions. So instead of walking out of schools and walking in the streets, go up to the kids who don’t have partners, compliment someone’s outfit, show genuine respect for people. One comment can go further than people realize. This is how we can change the increasing number of school violence in our country, not limiting firearms.