In response to allegations of covering up an alleged on-campus shooting, Westwood High School Principal Mario Acosta doubled down on the assertion that there was no threat on campus.
Indri Schaelicke | United States
In January of 2016, speaking at a New Hampshire campaign event, Republican Presidential hopeful Senator Marco Rubio reaffirmed his pro-gun right stance. “I believe that every single American has a Constitution—and therefore God-given right—to defend themselves and their families,” Rubio said. The statements he made at this rally were clearly politically motivated- he was attempting to build a base of voters in a state with a strong commitment to gun rights, especially among Republicans. And it sort of worked- he received 10% of the vote in the New Hampshire Republican primary and came away with 2 delegate votes.
By Jack Shields | United States
This week Judge Beth Bloom ruled the police at the Parkland school shooting had no duty to protect the students. The idea that children won’t be adequately protected in the United States of America during a school shooting is horrifying and needs to be solved immediately. The most obvious way to remedy this issue is to arm the teachers. The usual response when someone has proposed this idea or advocated for self-defense has been to treat it as an insane and unthinkable proposal. Ben Carson was mocked during the 2016 presidential campaign for claiming that kids should charge the shooter when he enters the room, and President Trump was torn apart when advocating giving the teachers firearms. While those in opposition are in the majority with 73% of teachers opposing guns in school, it is clear their logic is incorrect and we must arm teachers if we wish to protect students.
Why Not Police?
The first argument given against this is we should just rely on the police who are trained for this. If the judge’s ruling was not enough to disenchant you of this notion, there are many other reasons this is a terrible strategy. First, as many other pro-gun advocates have noted: when seconds matter the police are minutes away. The average school shooting is twelve minutes and thirty seconds. The average police response time to a school shooting is eighteen minutes. The police may be the best-trained there are and may have saved everyone, but they simply were not there. Sometimes you have to depend on localized solutions. You would never tell someone not to learn CPR because a trained doctor would do it better. Doctors won’t always be there.
Second, the police aren’t always good at their job. Just recently, a Texas police officer was convicted for murdering a teenager. David French of the National Review has reported on the murder of Botham Shem Jean by Officer Amber Guyger and many other similar cases. I don’t say this to disparage cops or say they’re always terrible at their jobs. The vast majority are great people putting their lives on the line for us every day and deserve a great deal of gratitude and respect. But they are human too, and that makes them prone to mistakes and prone to have a few bad apples in the mix. In the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High shooting, the police were there but instead of going in and doing their jobs, they waited outside like cowards as children were murdered. We can’t always depend on them, and this decision proves that.
Do Guards Work?
The next reason the opposition brings up is that the armed teacher will likely be useless or even dangerous in a school shooting. This is also proven clearly untrue upon examination of self-defense statistics and the impact armed guards have already had on schools. While the cowards were hiding outside during the Parkland Shooting, football coach Aaron Feis died shielding his students. Fewer lives would have been lost if Coach Feis was armed.
Take, for example, the Great Mills High School Shooting in Maryland, which occurred just a month after the Parkland Shooting. It’s likely you haven’t heard as much about this shooting as the Parkland Shooting. That’s because the Resource Officer – a good guy with a gun – shot the shooter within seconds. The success of guns and self-defense also holds true in everyday life. According to a CDC study carried out under President Obama (no friend of gun rights), Americans use guns to defend themselves 500,000 to 3 million times a year, and when guns were used by the victim they consistently had fewer injuries than victims who were unarmed.
Self-defense works and those on the opposition are starting to realize this but in the most bizarre way possible. In Pennsylvania, Blue Mountain School District decided to give the kids a bucket of rocks to stone the shooter. Millcreek School District went a different an idea that could only have been conceived after watching Negan on The Walking Dead: giving the teachers mini-baseball bats to fight the shooter. Rather than beat around the bush, we should realize it’s clear that we need a way to defend children in schools and guns are the best way to do it.
Couldn’t Teacher be Dangerous?
Opponents will then claim that not all teachers should have guns and that if a teacher had a gun he or she might shoot a student. For the first point, it’s actually true not all teachers should have a gun. This is consistent with the stance of advocates for arming teachers. Obviously, not all teachers should have a gun, and none should be compelled to. They would have to go through training and know how to use it in a school shooting situation if they want to have one, which is more than reasonable and can be easily achieved. And the idea that a teacher will shoot us for talking or misbehaving is insane. Teachers are not lunatics who are sitting there craving to hurt kids, just waiting until we change the laws so they can do so. By this same logic gun-owning parents all over the country should be shooting their kids anytime they misbehave. No reasonable or moral person does this.
It also seems odd they bring this hypothetical up as a risk unique to this proposal. The possibility of this happening (albeit essentially zero) already exists in the status quo. Teachers have to pass background checks to be teachers, making the vast majority able to get a gun. Teachers have passes to get into the school whenever they please. And teachers are with the children in a room by themselves. If a crazy teacher was evil enough to want to shoot a kid they could do it already. The only thing that would change by allowing teachers to have guns is there would be a good teacher to stop them.
What if a Student Got a Gun?
The last claim made is an inverse of the third: claiming that bad students who are physically more powerful than them will overpower them, take the gun and use it on the teachers and the students. This is perhaps the laziest of their arguments and is actually addressed best by comedian Bill Burr. In one of his comedy specials, he mentions that when he told people he wanted to get a gun they informed him that your chances of getting shot increase as soon as there’s a gun in the house. He responded by telling them your chances of drowning went up when you get a pool.
Possessing any tool gives you the ability to misuse it. That’s why the teachers will be responsible citizens and have the training to prevent such situations from occurring. There are efficient ways to make sure the guns are safely stored and that kids won’t be able to take them. Your English teacher won’t be spinning a pistol in her hand and using a rifle as a back scratcher during class. And the possibility of this happening already exists.
My school and countless others have a resource officer on campus. He has a gun. By the logic of those in opposition, shouldn’t there be lots of misbehaving children attempting to get his gun? They don’t, because we have been taught not to. I live in a house with guns, and I’ve known where they are for most of my life. But I don’t try to take them and use them even when I’m in a bad mood because I’ve been taught that guns are a dangerous tool and should be treated as such. There’s no reason to think that this would change if teachers had guns.
Those in opposition may believe what they are doing is protecting children, but the facts disprove this. We need to protect our children, and the tactic of keeping guns as far away from the hands of good people in schools just isn’t doing it. We need an instant response in our schools that is deadly and effective when someone comes in wishing to harm children. We need to be able to count on localized solutions for when everything else fails. We need to arm teachers and give children the security necessary to ensure their protection.
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By Teagan Fair | United States
On Wednesday, 18-year-old Vladislav Roslyakov went on a killing spree in Kerch Polytechnic College in Crimea. He reportedly ran from classroom to classroom, killing 20 people and wounding 50 others before shooting himself.
About The Killer
Vladislav Roslyakov was a fourth-year student at Kerch Polytechnic College. The school is in Kerch, Crimea, which Russia annexed with the rest of the region in 2014. The boy, according to reports, aspired to be an electrician. According to the tabloid Mash, Roslyakov was a “shy young man who spoke to almost no one.” His parents had also divorced when he was young.
The Russian daily Kommersant relates that Roslyakov’s father was disabled. His mother, on the other hand, was a Jehovah’s Witness who worked at a hospital. The killer grew up lower-class and lived with only his mother. His interests included video games and weapons. As some sources report, he also had an interest in murderers.
Roslyakov reportedly had a strong disdain for his school, and had vowed revenge on his peers, said a friend of his. According to an ex-girlfriend of Roslyakov, students bullied him for being different. He had posted on social media just days before the attack regarding the lack of sense in his life. Moreover, he mentioned the possibility of committing the shooting and killing himself.
Several media outlets have made comparisons between this attack and the Columbine shooting. For example, both killers placed bombs in the dining area and committed suicide in the library. Additionally, Roslyakov wore a white shirt with the word “Hatred”. This, of course, is similar to Eric Harris’ “Natural Selection” shirt. Given that the killer’s knowledge of past shooters, it is entirely possible that the Columbine massacre inspired this attack.
The Events of the Crimea Massacre
One of the killer’s classmates reportedly spotted him entering campus on Wednesday. At 11:46 AM, this occurred well after the school day had begun. The student told Mash that he and a friend greeted Roslyakov as they normally would. However, later that day, the two reportedly heard gunfire from inside the school while they were outside.
Roslyakov had come to school suspiciously with two backpacks, one gray and one black. The killer held a Hatsan Escort Aimguard 12-gauge pump-action shotgun, grenades, as well as a nail bomb that had successfully detonated, according to some witnesses. On the contrary, others only recall the use of firearms and grenades. Some witnesses, though, have even claimed to have seen several attackers. Roslyakov got a license and 150 rounds for his weapon in early September.
The Official Report
According to the Russian daily Kommersant, he “moved from room to room and, like an experienced special forces fighter, first threw a home-made grenade before going to shoot people.” Sergei Melikov, deputy chief of the Russian National Guard, said that the explosive device was home-made and the Investigative Committee, the nation’s most senior investigative agency, claimed that the device had shrapnel. Investigators later said they had found a second explosive device among the gunman’s possessions.
“Some victims’ internal organs were ruptured, we’re finding washers and ball bearings in their livers, intestines, blood vessels,” claims Veronika Skvortsova, Russian Prime Health Minister. “Limbs have been amputated – people have lost feet and shins,” she said. Russian officials had originally classified the attack as terrorism. Later, however, they reclassified it to ‘mass murder’, unable to find a political motive. By the end of it, Roslyakov reportedly murdered 15 students and 5 teachers. He also injured up to 50 others.
This tragic event happened in a nation that is foreign to many. We, nonetheless, as a human race, grieve for the many victims at the Kerch Polytechnic College, their families, and the people of Crimea.
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By Teagan Fair | United States
On Friday, Jerry Brown, Governor of California, signed bills advancing gun control within the state. A notable piece of this is a law that will raise the minimum age for buying rifles and shotguns from 18 years old to 21 years old.
It is a bit over seven months since the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, when 19-year-old gunman Nikolas Cruz killed 14 students and 3 teachers, injuring 17 others, using a Smith & Wesson M&P15, which is an AR-15 style semi-automatic rifle. This event launched the left into a full out attack on the second amendment and gun rights. Three weeks after the shooting in Parkland, California passed laws that raised the legal age to purchase a gun, banned bump stocks and allowed police to bar a mentally ill person from owning guns for up to a year if judged to be mentally ill by a court.
Seven months later, California has passed laws that will be put into place on January 1st. The minimum age to buy a rifle or a shotgun will be 21 years of age. These laws also ban firearms for those convicted of serious domestic violence and those who have been hospitalized due to their mental health more than once in a year. Another bill governor signed by the governor will make it easier for both family members and police to seize guns and ammunition from those who are ‘threatening and potentially violent’.
Like all of these proposed gun control laws, raising the minimum age to buy a firearm to 21 is ridiculous. Of course, you can join the military at 18 and kill people for the government. You can invade countries, attack people you’ve never met and destroy or take lives of innocent people if it’s in the name of the government, but you cannot defend yourself from people trying to attack you unless you are three years older than the minimum age to do previously mentioned activities. If it’s not in the name of the government, of course, it’s sinister now. You can vote for who will represent you at 18, but owning a tool used to defend from criminals, private or government, is somehow malicious. More people are killed by cars than guns each year, yet you can drive at 16 years old.
Not to mention the fact that putting a law on it will likely prove useless, as is true for most gun control arguments. For this particular case, if someone has their mind fixed on committing murders, they will 1. Do so whenever possible, whether that time is when they are 16, 18, 21, etc. and/or 2. Kill by any means necessary, whether that is doing so by gun, knife, car, chemicals, a bat, a sharp stick, jabbing a spoon into someone’s throat, etc. Additionally, if someone is actually fully willing to commit mass murder, they will not be scared of the fact that they are not allowed to buy a gun, considering the fact that it’s incredibly easy to purchase guns illegally, and no law will change that. It’s pretty hard to imagine a mass murderer thinking, ‘Man, I really want to go into a vulnerable area and kill as many defenseless children as I can in cold blood, but apparently I’m not allowed to go and buy a gun. Wouldn’t want to do anything illegal, because it’s not like I’m prepared to kill vulnerable teenagers!’ Obviously, if one does not fear mass murder, they will not fear buying a firearm illegally.
This rule can go for most legislation, including all of the previously stated laws coming into place starting in January. People convicted previously of domestic violence, will obviously not be afraid to illegally obtain a firearm if it supports the much worse crime they are already planning and not afraid to commit. Any future mass murder does not fear gun control laws. Yes, Governor Brown, even if they are mentally ill. Law abiding citizens, on the other hand, who have no interest in murder, hence why they are considered law-abiding citizens, are the only ones who will likely be affected by such laws, leaving them defenseless and in a worse state than before.
Governor Brown’s laws are foolish, both morally and practically. There is no excuse for us to sit and watch as our rights are gradually taken away. I advocate for those who wish for these rights to be protected to stand up to those enforcing these laws on law-abiding citizens so that we can attempt to protect our liberty.
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