Gun control is not the solution

Does the recent rise in school violence warrant infringing on the gun rights of American citizens?

The Republican position on this is “no”, because guns are not the cause of school violence.

Instead, we must eliminate the causes of school violence by providing our hurting and troubled young people with the healthy communities, support, services, and opportunities that they desperately need.


Preventing youth violence starts with understanding its causes.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), young people who have been victimized are more likely to be involved in youth violence and self-harming behaviors.

The CDC shares that individuals who have experienced child abuse and neglect are much more likely to be in physical fights, be affiliated with a gang, damage property, and attempt suicide during adolescence and young adulthood. Similarly, bullying is associated with an increased risk of weapon carrying, physical fighting, and other forms of violence, such as suicide, teen dating violence, and subsequent sexual harassment perpetration.

Taking away gun rights from citizens will do little to help troubled youth, since most of the violence they have experienced such as child abuse and bullying is not related to gun violence.

Guns are only one part of the problem of youth violence and are a symptom, instead of a cause.

We need to address the much more complex “big picture.” That requires multiple strategies that target youth needs and foster healthy communities at all levels (more details about these strategies can be found at the CDC website): early childhood home visitations and parenting skills and family relationships to promote family environments that support healthy development, preschool enrichment with family engagement to provide quality education early in life, universal school-based programs to strengthen youth’s skills, afterschool programs to connect youth with caring adults and activities, modifying the physical and social environment, reducing exposure to community-level risks, street outreach, and community norm change to create protective community environments, treatment to lessen the harms of violence exposures, addressing problem behaviors and further involvement in violence, and developing hospital-community relationships to intervene to lessen harms and prevent future risks.

Youth mentoring can be one important strategy.

One such nonprofit organization called MENTOR (mentoring.org) found that at-risk youth who had a mentor were 55% more likely to enroll in college, 78% more likely to volunteer regularly, and 130% more likely to hold leadership positions. Not just that, but 90% of the youth they served wanted to be mentors, themselves, showing how mentorship helped youth to invest back into their own communities.


Gun violence, as in the recent incident in Texas, is horrific and leaves such a negative impact in family lives wherever violence occurs in our communities.

Youth need to be taught how to identify problem behavior in fellow students and encouraged not to stay silent but to report it to parents and school officials.

Mentors who have permits to carry weapons such as volunteers, retired law enforcement, and other trained professionals can be stationed on-site in our schools to offer protection to our students and teachers.


Our communities need, as noted by the CDC, “multiple prevention strategies that are scientifically proven to reduce youth violence victimization and perpetration and associated risk factors.” The CDC provides technical packages to help communities and states implement youth violence prevention strategies that are based on the best available evidence.

The package is available to order by contacting the CDC at 800-232-4636 or downloading from the CDC website, cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/yv-technicalpackage.pdf


It is clear that widening our approach to preventing youth violence is critical to give violence-susceptible youth the opportunities to make lifelong positive changes.

We would do great harm if we agreed with the limited insight and reactivity of government officials who threaten our Second Amendment rights as the “solution” to resolving youth violence. This “solution” would not only fail to help our troubled youth, but also undermine our basic freedoms.

The original patriots defended their rights through bearing arms in order to establish our inalienable rights such as the freedom of speech and freedom of religion, no taxation without representation, etc., contained in the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution.

Without the right to bear arms, there would be no way to defend our cherished rights from being taken away in the event of a foreign invasion or a tyrannical domestic government. The case of Nazi-ruled Germany should remind us that this threat is not less real now than it was 200 years ago.

Our wise Founding Fathers accounted for such domestic and foreign threats. This is precisely why we have our Second Amendment right to bear arms.

Yet, there are some U.S. senators currently introducing the Federal Firearms Bill that gives the authority to the government to determine who is permitted to receive a license to buy and own a gun. If passed, this government-issued license would be a requirement for all gun owners. This “solution” is not only going to fail to address the problem of youth violence, it is also dangerous to “We the People” to maintain our sovereignty as a free country.


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