We live in a pretty cruel world where all kinds of crime take place every second in different corners of the globe. One of the most severe and terrifying kinds of crime is to kill another person. Today, the spread of guns leads to more killing cases than ever before. So, wise and enthusiastic students unite to do something with gun control. Many states in the United States of America allow every citizen to have a gun. Although the main idea is to provide the community with safety measures, the other side of the coin shows that the uncontrolled spreading of guns increases the number of killings in society.
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Table of Contents
Historical Context of Gun Control in the U.S.
Before we review the boom of student activism on this topic, we need to review its historical historical context. Why and when did it start in the United States of America? Let’s go through the most important years:
- On Dec. 15, 1791, was ratified the Bill for Rights. One of its main positions claimed that the safety and freedom of the state must be secured by a well-regulated Militia. These are armed men who can bear guns to protect themselves and others.
- June 26, 1934 – The time when the first national gun control legislation passed. This was the first official document that meant severe consequences for all people who use guns against innocent and unprotected citizens of the USA. It appeared soon after a grievous Valentine’s Day Massacre. The National Firearms Act (NFA) was formed. This structure controlled the manufacturing and selling of arms of all kinds.
- 1938 – The Federal Firearms Act (FFA) obliged all gun manufacturers, as well as transporters, dealers, and importers, to obtain a special license. Otherwise, they had no right to spread arms among citizens at all.
- 1968 – The Gun Control Act pushed by President Lyndon B. Johnson appeared. This document widened the types of arms that were banned from buying and selling. One of its main new positions was to ban selling guns to mentally ill people.
- 1986 – The Firearm Owners Protection Act appeared. This law protected gun owners and limited inspections of individuals and companies. So, the spreading of the arms became much easier.
- 2003 – There appeared The Tiahrt Amendment prohibited releasing to the masses information about where guns were bought by criminals.
- 2005 – There was passed the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. It stated that the names of arms manufacturers should not be mentioned if people suffered because of their products.
- 2008 – District of Columbia v. Heller essentially changed the initial law of 1939 about the Militia. It claimed that individuals have the right to own guns.
As you can see, there were different laws that either restricted the right to own arms to individuals or not. The year 1986 showed that the spreading of guns became much easier. This may be, perhaps, the beginning of the uncontrolled purchasing of guns that consequently led to many shooting cases all over the USA. Besides, the year 2008 made it legal to easily buy a gun. These two laws forced many students to oppose them.
Rise of Student Activism in Gun Control
The rise of student activism due to this issue is only a logical outcome. It should have taken place sooner or later in prodigal and cultural society. There are already too many cases when, because of the law, individuals could have guns and use them to kill innocent people. That is why young people opposed and rose against it.
Such cases like the Eastern High School shooting only prove how stupid and dangerous it is to allow every citizen to have a gun for so-called self-protection. Student activists are convinced that only people who are policemen, soldiers, bodyguards, and who are of similar professions should have guns. They were trained to use it, and they use it when it should be used within the limits of the law of every state. When talking about other citizens – One never knows what’s on their minds at the moment. That is why the national school walkout 2023 took place. That is why such walkouts will take place annually throughout the country until something is done to limit giving pistols to every willing person.
Major Student-Led Movements
Now, we’d like to mention the most notable student-led movements that were triggered because of the killing of guns at schools or right in the street. We know that there are definite states that make owning guns legal. What stands behind this law? Well, they claim that people feel much safer because they can protect themselves with guns. We can agree, but issuing the deathly tools to almost everyone (unless a person has serious mental illnesses or used to be jailed for severe crimes) is a rather stupid approach.
We can mention the student walk out in Florida or Chicago students walk out, or many other similar occasions. They took place because of massive massacres where children or adults had free access to arms. So, what are the most remarkable student-led movements against guns? These are as follows:
- Greensboro sit-ins, 1960
- University uprisings, 1968
- Apartheid divestment, 1970s-80s
- Tiananmen Square, 1989
- Velvet Revolution, 1989
- Iran, 1999
- Black Lives Matter, 2013-present
Yet, there were many other important and massive movements. You may look for detailed information on this matter. As you can see, the protests took place all over the globe at different times, and students were amidst all the events.
Impact of Student Voices
We need to review the way the student protest impacts the community. Does it even make any sense? It truly has because, without such protests, no one would give heed to all those massacres.
Still, their voices are not enough. The USA has gone through, so far, 67 mass shootings during 2023, and the year is not over! Many states do not seem to recognize the problem. For example, Texas is famous for its bold and strict people. They are proud of having the right to receive guns legally and easily. They don’t want to recognize that there are many shooting cases. Thus, we can mention the Robb Elementary School massacre in Uvalde. 19 schoolers and two teachers were killed. Still, the ban on guns fails in Texas from one year to another. Students do their best at this point, but it’s not enough. The whole nation should rise and unite against this dangerous law.
Challenges Faced by Young Activists
It’s necessary to evaluate the student perspectives when they get active about gun control. They are not successful. For example, the movement at Tiananmen Square, China, in 1989 was squeezed by the military men. So, the main challenges are:
- Shortage of followers
- Too young to be taken seriously
- Little support from adults
- Lack of concrete ideas for gun regulation
- Inconsistency in actions
The Role of Social Media
One of the best, most effective, and swiftest ways to spread news is to use social media. Every nationwide student walkout can be quickly revealed to the masses thanks to all those popular social media platforms. These are Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and others. They highlight all major movements, and individuals can also make personal videos and spread them among their followers. Social media can become the most powerful ally for students.
Looking to the Future
What is the future of such movements? They will take place as long as the laws permit to have guns by individuals without decent control. Not all of them will be successful, and confrontation may take place in the USA and globally. The tough times will come.
Some folks claim that these movements are useless and should be given up. Wise people realize that nothing should be stopped until the final victory. You may simply look at Parkland School photos or the photos from other places of real tragedy to understand that the mainstream should not be stopped until the guns are under control.
Summing Up the Clues
The matter of gun control is a serious matter which must be watched in every country of the world. It’s not the problem of the USA. Other countries suffer because of frequent massacres with guns as well. Reasonable and wise youngsters are proactive in banning guns. We support them hugely and would like to stop such laws forever. We are convinced that every intelligent person should do something to help young activists.