Minors with guns wreaking havoc

Published 6:58 pm Thursday, January 25, 2018

The new year has brought new resolutions, awards season and an ever-growing number of school shootings. Currently, 11 school shootings have been recorded since Jan. 1.

The American public has become numb to the shock and awe of tragedy, because shootings in an educational setting are happening more often than most people can keep up with.

I don’t think the world has experienced a truly shocking school shooting since the events that happened at Sandy Hook in December of 2012. Even then, it was a reminder that the nation had already gone through this five years ago at Virginia Tech.

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The saddest part with these active shooters is that in almost half of the school shootings in 2018, students themselves were the ones pointing a gun at classmates, and during some of these incidents, minors were the ones wielding a weapon.

Suffolk faced its own gun-wielding teenager earlier this week. A 15-year-old was in possession of a handgun in King’s Fork High School, and thankfully the administration became aware before a situation could arise.

Suffolk Public Schools commented on not using the metal detectors on a regular basis, and I think it should stay that way. Students shouldn’t have to be corralled through a metal detector every day to ensure safety.

Students, under the age of 21, shouldn’t have access to a loaded handgun.

These moments should serve as reminders to parents and guardians that talking about the birds and the bees isn’t the only important topic anymore. If a gun is present in your home — or even if one isn’t — parents should be talking to their children about gun safety.

Part of that conversation should include active shooter safety, though schools are increasingly enacting drills for these situations.

Obviously, kids can get involved with the wrong crowds and guns can be obtain illegally, but it’s still important to have an open conversation with your children before any of these things can be an option for them.

I’d like to hope that these things will start to taper off, but that’s a lofty goal I don’t see this country achieving anytime in the near future.