With the gun control issue now truly a main focus in Washington D.C., heated debates between proponents and opponents for stricter gun control laws are at a new high, with both sides trying to find a fair balance — but what is a fair balance?
This week starting on Wednesday Vice President Joe Biden will meet gun violence victims’ groups and organizations which advocate for gun safety. Broadening the effort to minimize gun violence, Biden will also meet with gun ownership groups, including sportsmen. But perhaps the most controversial meetings Biden plans to have are the ones with representatives from the entertainment and video-game industries — it could be considered by some as far reaching and loss of freedoms.
[Related: Obama Administration Ramping Up Gun Control Proposals ]
The unbelievably horrendous scenario which occurred on Dec 14, 2012, at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut — where twenty students and six adults were killed by 20 year old Adam Lanza, who was ultimately found dead from a self inflicted gunshot after committing the atrocious act, has overly-sparked both sadness and outrage throughout communities across all of the United States.
Adam Lanza forced his way into the school using a semi-automatic AR-15 assault rifle which he carried along with Glock and Sig Sauer pistols, all registered to his mother Nancy Lanza, whom he shot and killed at their Newton home shortly before heading to the school.
[Related: Sandy Hook shooting: What happened ]
If the weapons were not there, would this have happened? Or could Adam have employed different methods to commit the same, if not a worse atrocity?
After the Sandy Hook shooting, states such as Utah, have recently called for the arming of teachers in order to protect their classrooms. 200 teachers in Utah were given a six hour training course on how to handle a concealed weapon — a measure that could turn an already bad situation into a worse one.
[Related: 200 Utah teachers take free firearms training class ]
Arming teachers could encourage a mentally disturbed individual to a challenge, where consequently the mentally disturbed individual now sees schools as a battle zone. Furthermore, what would happen if an armed teacher due to any sudden mental lapse loses their ability to think rationally, and becomes just as dangerous as Adam Lanza himself?
With the focus more on gun control by applying stricter background checks, and less focus on what could be done from a psychological perspective when something of this nature occurs — such incidents could play out in different ways. The psychological instability of an individual who decides to carry out the type of mass murder witnessed at the Sandy Hook Elementary School is as much, if not even more of a major concern which should not be ignored and deserves focused attention from not only the federal and local governments, but also from the tiers of school officials.
“I think it’s more of a mental health problem than a gun problem right now,” said Representative Howard Coble, Republican of North Carolina, who also believes that the talk of gun control is “probably a rush to judgment” that misses the real issue.
[Related: Obama Vows Fast Action in New Push for Gun Control ]
Perhaps it is time schools consider adding subjects other than math, reading and writing and implement classes that could be labeled — as an example; “The Nature of Violence,” which students take and are tested on, as part of their semesters. The idea is to create awareness and implement preventive measures that make students more conscious of the consequences violence, specifically gun violence can bring about. If schools use tests to measure intellectual abilities, why not use tests to measure their mental health?