School shootings always get the media, the government and the public in a tizzy. Suddenly everyone is outraged (again) and wants to wage the “war on guns” harder than before. All anyone can think is “get rid of the guns and it will all go away”. Unfortunately, they’re wrong.
As the old adage says: “If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.” I believe it’s a good idea to keep high-powered automatic weapons out of the hands of the general public, but the fact is, criminals will still find ways to get them. When criminals are the only ones with guns, the rest of us are in trouble.
Of course, the bigger issue in preventing gun violence isn’t in banning guns, it’s in proper education and mental health care. Good people don’t go out and find guns and kill people with them. Healthy, mentally stable people don’t go shoot up schools or offices. People who are sick in body or mind do those things. Lack of guns isn’t going to stop a mentally damaged person from killing. Trust me, they’ll find another way.
The best way to prevent this starts at home. Better parenting would do a world of good to prevent mental health issues that arise from abuse, neglect, bullying and hormonal changes. If parents teach their kids how to deal with anger and resolve issues, they’re less likely to snap. If they’re listening to how their child is feeling and the things they’re dealing with at school, they can help the kid cope, get them counseling and/or take action to change things in their school. Giving the child outlets for their feelings and anger prevents them from taking it out on others in dangerous ways. Being a real parent and knowing their child would allow them to see other mental issues cropping up and get the child help before they lash out at the world.
Schools are also part of the education chain, obviously. Not only do they need to provide a proper level of education so kids can become useful adults, they also need to provide a safe, healthy environment for the students. More needs to be done in the schools to prevent bullying, break down cliques and encourage understanding and acceptance of others regardless of race, religion, financial status or sexual preference. School counselors need to be available and actually help students that have issues. Teachers need to be on the lookout for possible issues and take action to keep peace and safety in the classrooms.
That’s just something that people are missing these days. They think that banning guns is the answer, but it simply isn’t. Most hate the statement, but it’s true when they say “guns don’t kill people, people kill people”. And those people start as kids. We need to get to them as young as possible and provide them with education and caring so that they don’t turn into the kind of people that kill others or themselves. Some issues may arise later in life and cause someone to snap, but more often than not these outbursts arise from long-term suffering. If we took care of our youth properly, they’d be less likely to become damaged and dangerous. If they already are damaged, the signs could be seen earlier and they could be given help.
Instead of waging a war on guns, fight for what really matters: people. Do whatever you personally can to bolster education, good parenting and adequate mental health care. Parent your own children well. Help other parents if you can. Be a friend to a troubled kid. Stop violence at its source. Guns, like knives or fire, are just tools. If they can’t find one tool, they’ll find another. Only through education and a caring environment can we really have any hope of ending suicide and violence.