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Editorial: The Case for Creating a Safer Tomorrow

Could a school shooting happen here? Marist students weigh in on the need for tougher gun control
Photo+of+Marist+High+School+Main+Gym+Entrance%2C+showing+a+sign+prohibiting+firearms
Photo of Marist High School Main Gym Entrance, showing a sign prohibiting firearms

The United States of America has a gun problem. I believe with the passage of universal background checks, a federal assault weapon ban, and red flag laws, we can drastically lower the number of deaths caused by firearms in this country. 

According to the Gun Violence Archive, in 2023 alone, the U.S. faced 656 mass shootings (incidents involving four or more people being injured or killed). Due to new records of violence every year, it has become overwhelmingly clear that our country has a gun problem. 

Marist High School students agree. According to a poll of 84 students, 94% of them answered yes when asked if the U.S. had a gun problem. The fact is, gun violence is wreaking havoc and killing thousands per year, but many people differ in opinions about how we should respond.

The vast majority of Marist students believe the U.S. needs to do something to curb gun violence

I propose that we require universal background checks for all purchases and trading of firearms, pass and enforce a federal ban on assault weapons, and introduce red flag laws in all 50 states and territories of the US. 

Universal background checks would close a loophole allowing prohibited persons to access and purchase firearms. A federal ban on assault weapons would prohibit civilians from purchasing and possessing semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines. Finally, red-flag laws would allow for family members or law enforcement to petition a court to temporarily remove firearms from an individual who poses a danger to themselves or others. 

Marist students largely agreed with said policies. Results from a poll showed that a majority of students agreed to all gun control measures, with universal background checks being the most supported, with over 90% approval. Red flag laws received 69% approval, and an assault weapon ban was the most controversial, yet it still gained 59% approval. 

The majority of Marist students favor tougher gun control measures

A harsh and unforgiving reality has compelled students to support said measures. Gun violence occurs in schools as well. 

In 2023, we witnessed terror in 38 schools across the country, and unfortunately, this has become the norm. Schools nationwide have received more training and have set protocols for such incidents. 

In 2022, Marist High School greatly expanded their security measures on campus, including door sensors, locks, and security cameras. Mike Callahan, Director of Security at Marist, uses all available resources given to him, to help ensure that students feel safe and secure. 

“We do our best to keep students safe. Every door has a sensor on it and we’re notified every time they are triggered,” said Callahan. 

However, despite reassurances from the Marist administration and adequate security measures, students are still troubled at the idea of an “incident” occurring on campus.  

According to the poll, 79% of respondents said they were at least somewhat worried about a gun-related incident occurring at Marist High School.  

Students respond to how worried they are about a shooting happening here at Marist (scale of 1-5)

“I am surprised by the amount of students concerned, but I can see why they would feel that way because of reports we see in the news,” said Patrick Cunningham, a Marist student.

We have the power to enact change, but we must be vocal and unwavering. We must call upon our representatives to pass universal background checks, a federal assault weapon ban, and red flag laws. Everyday we wait, more people die at the hands of a gun. 

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About the Contributor
Ethan Froylan, Journalism and Media 1 Writer
I am a sophomore at Marist High School and enrolled in Journalism 1. I graduated from St. Linus School. This is my first year working with MHS Media. I'm a student ambassador, play golf on the JV team, am a member of the Math team, and am a proud RedHawk. I look forward to learning and writing more.

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