Students should protest complicit law enforcement, not gun reform

April 17, 2018

Rachel Librach

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Following the February shooting that took the lives of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, many students have decided to take a stance to advocate for gun laws reform.

    On March 14, students walked out of class to protest our current gun control laws. But they walked out for the wrong reasons.

    The United States’ current gun control laws and the National Rifle Association are not the problem.

     Instead, students should fight for more enforcement of police and mental healthcare policies that will help our citizens be proactive.

   The NRA does not want known criminals getting their hands on guns. Our government, who claims to argue for tougher gun control, is not even supporting the current gun control system we have in place.  

    After every school shooting, the NRA and the second amendment are attacked. Doing the same thing over and over again but hoping for a different result is not getting us anywhere.

    Let’s look at our current system. Implementing stricter gun control has been done, and yet we’re still seeing the same results.

    Maryland has one of the strictest gun control policies in the nation. Yet, their gun homicides are also one of the highest in the nation.

    Guns have also put a stop to more damage being created. We saw this in the Sutherland Springs church shooting, where the gunman, Devin Kelley, was stopped by an NRA-trained, legal gun owner. The Pulse Nightclub shooter, Omar Mateen, decided to attack the club instead of Disney World because he knew that armed security would stop him.

    While lives were lost, it was because of trained, armed people that more damage wasn’t inflicted.

Instead, students should focus on why the police and the FBI fail to take action on these shooters.

      According to an article from the New York Times, Mateen had been reported and was on the FBI’s radar before the shooting, but after about one year, the FBI cleared him.

    In the case of the Parkland shooting, police were called to Nikolas Cruz’s house more than 50 times. Cruz’s classmates all knew he was a deranged child growing up, and was only allowed into school with a clear backpack.

     Cruz was cleared by his mental healthcare worker and according to Miami Herald the FBI was alerted about Cruz’s online threats to become a school shooter on two separate occasions, yet there was no follow-up.

      Are you really telling me you want us to put our liberties on the chopping block after the systemic failures of our government?

     From 1950 to July of 2016, 98.4 percent of mass shootings have taken place in gun-free zones. States have not been fully and accurately reporting criminal convictions to the National Crime Information Center for NICS to check when a firearm is purchased, according to NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch.

     What Loesch is saying is that the current gun control laws are not being supported by our states, and because of that, people’s criminal histories are not being disclosed to NICS, thus the NRA cannot perform the necessary and proper background checks on these individuals.

      If these marching students really want to make a difference and they truly want to speak up for school safety, they should be going after their mayors, governors, congressmen, the FBI and their local law enforcement.

    These students should be rallying to demand their government follow-up on school-shooting threats, to support the current gun control laws by reporting people’s criminal history and to fortify schools with additional security measures so it won’t be so easy for the next school shooter to attack our children.