By Ryan Lau | Maryland
After the Parkland high school shooting left 17 students and teachers dead, America demanded change. All sides of the political spectrum gave their ideas as to how to protect our country and stop mass shootings. Generally, people made one, or both, of two main arguments. First, that the United States should implement stricter gun control in order to cut down on the number of shootings. Second, many suggested arming school staff so they can protect students in the event of an emergency.
This proposal, which President Trump endorses, has drawn a lot of backlash from the Democratic Party. Many Democrats oppose the very idea of putting guns in the same building as kids, for fear of more violence. “I disagree vehemently with putting guns with children”, said Florida State Rep. Evan Jenne of Hollywood. Many across the nation feel this same sentiment, fearing an unsafe environment. But this Tuesday, the concept of arming school employees proved to be critical in saving a number of lives.
Tuesday morning, an armed student entered Great Mills High School in Maryland. Before classes began, the student fired his weapon down a hall, hitting a girl and a boy, both students. Yet, immediately after, a School Resource Officer went after and killed the shooter. Simply put, this would not have been possible if that guard was not carrying a gun. Clearly, having armed security guards in the building has the potential to save lives.
Without a doubt, the presence of that armed guard saved the lives of several other students. As the shooting occurred before class, the hallways were full of students. In such a crowded environment, these students, without a form of defense, are sitting ducks. When only one student has a gun, and a clear mental issue, defense is necessary. Without a form of defense, more tragedies are inevitable.
During the armed guard’s pursuit of the shooter, a shootout ensued. Though police do not yet know exactly how many bullets the gunman fired, they are certain it was multiple. In fact, they are unsure which bullet struck and killed the gunman. The guard, who left the incident unharmed, became the new target for the shooter. He may have otherwise used some or all of them against his fellow students, teachers, or other staff.
Nobody can say for sure exactly what would have happened in this incident without the heroic actions of the guard. One thing is certain, however, and that is that in this case, a gun in a school saved lives. We must recognize that the safety of America’s children is on the line. Our future generation’s lives are on the line.
Of course, placing guns into American schools is not an easy concept to grasp. A mere twenty years ago, the idea would have been laughable. However, our society is changing very quickly. Though media does admittedly sensationalize some aspects of our mass shooting problem, there absolutely is a problem. One mass shooting or one school shooting is one too many.
Clearly, this solution will work. It worked today in Maryland. The similar concept of armed defense worked to prevent deaths in the recent Texas church shooting. We must recognize this truth, and not shy away from it any longer. Students are dying, and one is too many. Despite this, two injuries is a much more favorable outcome than the deaths that would have otherwise occurred. We must immediately, for the sake of American children, ensure more schools are armed with highly trained and armed guards.