Guns vs. Education

Since mass shootings have become such a frequent occurrence, it is no wonder Utica College located in Upstate New York sprang into action the minute they received threats from an individual, presently unidentified, who declared themselves armed with a weapon around on campus grounds. Utica College has approximately 5000 students who attend classes on campus and online. Due to the calamitous events that have transpired at about 11am Monday morning, all of these students as well as the staffs have been removed from campus grounds and are told to hang around safe places for the time being. The Utica College representatives have, in the meantime, called off all remaining classes and events for the day.

Around one o’clock past noon on Monday, Lieutenant Bryan Coromato of the Utica Police Department has updated the public in an email that states,

“This agency, along with other local, state, and federal agencies are on scene investigating the incident. At this time there is no substantiation to any reports of an active shooter or shots fired on the campus.”

A couple of hours following this incident, at 3 in the afternoon, Utica Police Department reassured the public of the lack of hostility that has been detected, in addition to the absence of physical forces and violence that has been reported through the platforms of social media such as Twitter. Nonetheless, they will continue this investigation to validate the authenticity of the threat in order to ensure the safety of the students as well as the staff.

Further updates about the incident can be found on the Utica College Twitter page.

While we are pleased to see this matter being handled with extreme precaution and severity, we cannot deny the inconvenience that it has ultimately caused to the people involved. A quick look through the search engine reveals the extent of people in distress. All things aside, this situation calls for a quick evaluation of the United States as a ‘first-world country’. Should a developed nation such as America be like this? Should people be in constant fear and distress for a possible massacre? Why aren’t we doing something to change that?

Politicians, news reporters and so forth are centering their attention on gun rights in relation to gun control only to waste away the time and effort with no tangible outcomes. The Second Amendment of the Constitution has safeguarded the right of the people to bear arms, so why do we insist on devoting all these resources to fight for a cause that we cannot win? Perhaps the states should better allocate these means towards a more promising approach, such as the gun reform package that has been proposed by the Senate of Florida State.

The notion of keeping teachers armed have been mocked and ridiculed on social media. It is important to take into consideration that those who are determined to execute their plans, will find a way to do so, despite of the rules and regulations that may restrict them temporarily. Hence, the enforcement of gun control does not guarantee the elimination of mass shootings whereas permitting the staffs and officials of schools or colleges will provide them with a promising self-defense line in times of need.

Furthermore, the Florida school shooting have illustrated the need for proper education, since shooters are no longer repeat offenders or hired assassins. They are the children who did not receive adequate care and attention from their role models. Take the Florida shooter for example, he has had an entire web page that described his aspirations to be a “shooter” as well as the refusal to attend class the morning of the shooting. All of this, however, was dismissed as a regular teenage defiance. Many children out there who are under foster care faces similar negligence and lack of sympathy by the adults around them. All of the aforementioned entities are aspects that could be improved with sufficient resources, and, in turn, eliminate these threats in the long run.

Featured Image via Flickr/skyandsea876

Washington, D.C. May Become Most Permissive Jurisdiction for Guns

The Republicans-controlled House passed a spending bill Wednesday, July 16, to amend its gun-control and marijuana possession laws.

According to The Washington Post, the gun amendment was proposed by Republican Rep. Thomas Massie. The Supreme Court set the rules in 2008 that required people to register their handguns every three years, attend a safety course, and get fingerprinted and photographed. Massie amended the bill to remove all the procedures that the District’s gun-owning citizens have had to go through.

“It is time for Congress to step in and stop the D.C. government’s harassment and punishment of law-abiding citizens who simply want to defend themselves,” Massie wrote in a statement.

Massie’s amendment is supported by 20 Democrats and 221 Republicans, with four Republican lawmakers opposed.

The other amendment about marijuana possession was introduced by Republican Rep. Andy Harris. If passed, it would prevent the District from spending money to relax the pot laws.

Mayor Vincent Gray signed a bill in March that replaces the criminal penalties with a $25 fine, one of the country’s lowest, for possession of less than one ounce. The new law took effect on Thursday, July 17.

Drug policy experts said Harris’s amendment would only take away the District’s ability to issue the fines.

The White House said the drug law is a state’s right issue and “poses legal challenges to the Metropolitan Police Department’s enforcement of all marijuana laws currently in force in the District.”

The final decisions of the bill and amendments will depend on communications between the House, Senate and White House.