Although gun violence has apparently decreased on the whole in the United States the last two decades, many schools are reporting increased violence and bullying in recent years. School and mass shootings in particular have grown more frequent and more deadly, causing many to question the accessibility of deadly weapons.
Soon after the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting last year, President Obama released a plan to reduce gun violence, which included closing background check loopholes, banning military-type assault weapons, and increasing access to mental health services. Meanwhile, the National Rifle Association released a different kind of plan, one that involved increasing gun ownership and instituting armed guards in every school in America. It seems there was a bit of a disconnect.
Pastor Perry Black, an administrator at the school, told KARK:
I just felt like with what’s going on in many of the public sectors where there seems to be a lot of shootings we need to take the same stance that we do in church on Sunday for our kids Monday through Friday.
Here is the sign the school recently posted on their campus:
One argument for this kind of action might be that the guns themselves are just a precautionary measure, but the sign should hopefully do enough to discourage any would-be shooters. Do you think this is realistic? And are guns ever acceptable in a school setting?
Bonus – Watch Deepak Chopra address gun violence in this episode of “Ask Deepak” on the Chopra Well:
Photo credit: Jahi Chikwendiu / The Washington Post
When news surfaced last week of the fatal shooting of a 2-year-old by her 5-year-old brother, the question on many people’s minds was how the youngster got a hold of such a weapon in the first place?
The Crickett .22-caliber single-shot rifle apparently contained one final shell that neither the boy nor his parents were aware of, the circumstances of which lead to this devastating accident. Neither the reality of the very high gun ownership rate in Kentucky (where this family lives) nor the state’s recent ban on gun control enforcement are enough to explain the tragedy away. One disturbing factor in this story, though, is that this rifle was part of a line of guns specifically designed and targeted to children. The rifle actually belonged to the 5-year-old.
Here is the commercial for the Cricket .22-caliber rifle, marketed to children:
This ad should inspire discourse and perhaps a re-thinking of the many ways the media condones gun violence in the eyes of children. But several residents of the Kentucky town where this tragedy occurred have been quick to remind the rest of the country that gun culture varies from place to place. As Gary White, the county coroner, told the Associated Press, “Down in Kentucky where we’re from, you know, guns are passed down from generation to generation. You start at a young age with guns for hunting and everything.” Another woman urged that “it’s nobody else’s business” but the that of the family and the townspeople, themselves.
Whether we consider this case a symbol in the larger nationwide debate on gun control or not, it is still a horrible event that could easily happen again. A gun is an extremely powerful, dangerous, and unpredictable weapon – especially in the hands of a child.
But what do you think? Should gun companies be allowed to market their products to children? Let us know in the comments section below!
Photo credit: From Kids’ Corner on the Crickett website