The fight for gun control

Cathal Mc Cahey

Imagine you have children and they have a habit of always drawing on your sitting room walls with a crayon, you would take away the crayon. Even though it’s not the crayon that’s drawing on the wall, it’s the children. You might even go as far as banning crayons from your home.

The same applies to guns in America, the news of the school shooting in Florida is shocking but not all that surprising, if anything it’s becoming more and more normal. It pains me to write that but a school shooting in America, are you surprised? 91 percent of children younger than fifteen who were killed by bullets, lived in the United States according to a recent study published in the American Journal of Medicine.

Reporting on shootings like this as ‘one of the deadliest school shootings in US history’ is crazy, aren’t all school shootings that result in death, deadly? The worry and fear both students and parents must feel about going to school is an alien one to me and everyone else in Ireland. Our school worries consist of late homework and ‘high school crushes’ as they should.

Although we ask these questions and point out these facts, not once do we ever provide a solution, or so we’re told by the totally reasonable gun loving folk in America. Adding more layers and security to buying a gun? No, that doesn’t make sense. Ban all guns? Now that’s just absurd, what if someone with a gun starts shooting and I don’t have my gun? No thanks.

With this recent shooting we have seen something new. The students of Stoneman Douglas High have taken to social media in a show of unity and strength to condemn the ‘condolences’ expressed to them from Trump and other lawmakers. Instead, they are demanding action on gun reform to protect them in their own schools.

The time for ‘thoughts and prayers’ is over. Action needs to be taken to prevent further massacres in the American school system. While any argument on gun control is contentious and will not help the innocent students secure the safety they should already have, there are ways to protect them. A father of one of the victims, 18 year old Meadow Pollack, addressed Trump in a “listening session” pointing out how there is a lack of protection in schools.

“This shouldn’t happen. We go to an airport, I can’t get on plane with a bottle of water, but we leave it to some animal to walk into a school and shoot our children. It’s not right.” said Andrew Pollack. “I’m very angry that this happened. Because it keeps happening. 9/11 happened once and they fixed everything. How many children have to get shot? It should have been one school shooting and we should have fixed it”.

While a reform is clearly needed, the reality is that it will not happen any time soon, which is no consolation for parents like Pollack. “And I’m pissed because my daughter, I’m not going to see again, King David Cemetery, that’s where I go to see my kid now.”

Cathal Mc Cahey

Image by