Monday, March 26, 2001 Volume 66, Issue 118


 
 









 

Gun bill should be adopted now

Melissa Kummer

A third of high school students can easily think of a classmate who would, if provoked, plan a violent attack on their school, according to an ABC poll.

The recent shooting at a high school in Santee, Calif., left two students dead and 13 wounded. Several days later, a little more than a mile away, another student opened fire.

This 18-year-old was reportedly angry after learning that he lacked sufficient credits to meet the graduation requirement. This eerie coincidence has left families everywhere wondering if it could happen in their hometowns.

It could.

These troubled shooters either have no respect for the lives of others or have reached a serious enough state of delusion that they don't realize that death is permanent.

School shootings seem to occur in clusters. Soon after the shooting at Columbine, several others followed, appearing to mimic the massacre that left more than a dozen people dead in the Colorado school.

In a sick way, murder is glorified by all the media attention these events obtain. Maybe it is thrilling to get on TV before going to prison.

As college students, we are at the age when starting a family may not be too far away. Many of us already have children in school. Is this level of safety what we want for our kids? We can't assume violence can't enter the schools of our children.

I'm not trying to sound like some pacifist hippie, but violence is wrong. It boils down to the fact that it's unnecessary, and unacceptable, to shoot people.

Simply put, there is always a way to approach a problem from an angle that does not involve inflicting bodily harm on others. I've lived 20 years without ever feeling the need to kill or injure another human being. 

Parents need to teach their kids that violence is wrong. This problem has entered one of our nation's most trusted and important institutions and must be taken seriously.

Threats of savagery to school property should be taken as seriously as if the acts were carried out. "I was just kidding" does not suffice any longer.

A proposal introduced shortly after the Columbine shooting is back in the spotlight for Texans. Basically, the proposal would force unlicensed gun dealers to run background checks on prospective buyers.

While many objectors to this bill cite a lack of impact on issues such as school violence, it's logical to assume that any impact on school violence, even a minimal one, is a step in the right direction.

It is clear that if even one angry child is unable to get a gun that he or she might have otherwise taken to school, progress has been made and lives have been saved.

The chance is presented to make a difference on an issue that deserves dire attention. Nobody will be hurt by a background check. If you are a law-abiding citizen, what are you worried about?

If the safety of America's youth is a priority to you and your family, write to your state representatives and let them know how you feel. Guns belong in dumpsters, not in schools.

Kummer, a senior communication major, 
can be reached at mak_brat@hotmail.com.

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