Gun Debate Meets Hancock

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Gun Debate Meets Hancock

Students hold their signs asking for a change during the March Nationwide 14th Walk-out.

Students hold their signs asking for a change during the March Nationwide 14th Walk-out.

Students hold their signs asking for a change during the March Nationwide 14th Walk-out.

Students hold their signs asking for a change during the March Nationwide 14th Walk-out.

Randon Kapeller, Staff Writer

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It has been nearly a month since the horrific school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. This event, along with others, has reignited the debate about guns. Many students have developed their own nuanced opinions on the matter of guns.

One point commonly brought to the table is school security. Many people have suggested arming teachers. A few students reasoned that arming teachers is not ideal.

“I think arming the teachers is a very bad idea. We have a gun problem and guns don’t solve the problem of guns,” Senior Ramona Johnson commented.

Junior Ramona Johnson (far left) giving an inspiring speech at the March 14th Nationwide Walk-out.

On the suggestion of more officers and maybe metal detectors, but students had differing opinions.

“I wouldn’t arm teachers but I’d probably get more officers. Metal detectors are kind of overboard and it makes you feel like you’re going into prison. It’s too much for some students,” Senior Davonte Trotter stated.

Other students brought up concerns for more security and whether or not different communities would be able to obtain the change.

“And what you’ll see is a lot of schools in wealthier counties and wealthier places will have the ability to get more security, but then the schools that are in lower income places and communities will be unable to keep up with that security,” stated Johnson.

Students noted their observations of the shortcomings in law enforcement.

Senior Muharem Komic (Center) stands with his fellow students at the March 14th Nationwide Walk-out after having just read the bio of one of the Parkland victims.

“I feel like law enforcement themselves handled it appropriately because I’m pretty sure they don’t expect to have a school shooting everyday,” Senior Muharem Komic stated.

On the subject of the officer that didn’t act during the Parkland shooting, students had strong opinions.

Trotter said, “Well that’s just kind of cowardly, honestly. It’s his job to protect the students and deal with the scenario or do as much as he can until other officers arrive.”

A topic not always brought up, is the overall mental health of the shooter.

”America has gun problems but it also has an underlying mental health issue,” Johnson mentioned.

Finally, students shared their thoughts of what they think should be done to solve this gun issue.

Komic hit home with the need for change overall, “I feel like we can’t ban guns because that’s the second amendment and they’re not going to change that, but they should really have stricter, stricter gun laws. I know people keep saying that but that’s the only thing you can keep saying.”

Ramona Johnson talked of policies that could be instituted such as banning bump stocks and certain weapons.

“Overall I believe that the age to buy a gun needs to definitely be raised. 18 is just mind boggling to me. You can’t even drink alcohol at 18 but you can buy a gun. It’s astonishing. So that needs, I feel, to be raised. Bump stocks need to be ilegalized. I believe that more background checks, more thorough background checks and civilians should not have access to semi-automatic weapons,” Johnson said.

Senior Devonte’ Trotter participating in the March 14th Nationwide Walkout by reciting the biography of one of the fallen students from Parkland.

Trotter called mostly for more officers and proactive search for suspicious activity from the schools and law enforcement.

“Honestly I would probably get more officers. People say it’s a waste of money but it’s not really a waste of money to keep the kids safe. It’s all for a good reason so I’d say get more officers around the school and check for suspicious activity,” he explained.