By Victoria Vidales | Staff Writer

On Feb. 14, Nikolas Cruz gunned down 17 people at Marjory Stoneman High School in one of the U.S.’s most horrific school shootings ever. Following this tragedy, students took it upon themselves to take action, campaigning in rallies and marches and hosting city hall meetings in an effort to get stiffer laws concerning firearms. In response to the students’ efforts, several companies have decided to sever ties with the National Rifle Association (NRA), which is a groundbreaking decision that demands attention.

The NRA has been one of the United States’ most influential interest groups for decades. Thousands of people nationwide look to this organization to protect their Second Amendment Rights. However, with the rise of gun violence in the U.S., some people are holding the NRA and its influence in Congress accountable.

The rise of gun violence in schools in the U.S. has only risen in the current century. According to CNN, there has been an average of one school shooting per week in 2018, a number frightening to students, teachers, parents, and fellow citizens. Now students have taken it upon themselves to achieve the results they want, and with this tragedy adults seem to be taking notice.

By severing ties with the NRA, several companies, including The First National Bank of Omaha, MetLife, Delta Airlines, etc., ended their discounts to NRA members. These decisions have been met with mixed reactions, with supporters of gun control applauding the companies’ efforts and NRA proponents condemning the actions.

These decisions by companies are significant and long overdue. Action to combat gun violence must be taken, and if action will not be taken by politicians, it is up to the common people to take a stand. Opponents may argue that these decisions by companies are only hurting members. But they are only a result of the organization’s leaders refusing to discuss solutions to the increase in violence.

Now maybe companies’ decisions for pulling away from the NRA are completely selfish. It may be better business for them to break away from the NRA while they are in hot water. Nevertheless, it is an outcome that the NRA will have to acknowledge and respond to if more and more businesses pull away.

Also, if people support these companies’ decisions in breaking away from the NRA, it is their responsibility to support them financially, giving them the business that they are going to lose. It is essential for people to support each other in their shared beliefs, and by this example they can encourage other businesses to follow.

Although schools are supposed to be a safe haven for the nation’s youth, they have become a prime target for horrific acts of violence. Perpetrators see the vulnerability in the school atmosphere and take advantage of it, destroying countless lives with their actions.

When tragedy strikes, people have differing opinions on how to deal with it, and for far too long the excuse has been that it is “too soon” to make a decision.  Following the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting, where first graders were murdered, many people believed that action on gun control would be taken. Yet, the momentum was forgotten about, becoming swept away by new issues. 

How many more dead children is it going to take for lawmakers to take notice? According to The New York Times, since the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting there have been 239 school shootings, resulting in 438 people being shot and 138 being killed. Any number is too high of a number, and it is time for people to claim that enough is enough.

The NRA has proposed that teachers should begin carrying guns, allowing them to stop an attacker themselves. This idea is in conflict with the demands of students and parents, who call for increasing the age limit to buying a firearm and banning certain assault style rifles and equipment. The NRA’s decision to prevent another catastrophe has several flaws in it. One is that it would be incredibly difficult to train teachers to use a gun, and it would especially difficult to use it in a chaotic situation.

The Second Amendment is very important; it is one of the original laws in the United States Constitution. It was put in place to allow people to protect themselves against other people, outside nations, and the government. However, it is essential that in this day and age, steps are taken to protect people from modern weaponry. When the Amendment was written, guns that unleashed hundreds of bullets a minute did not exist. Now they do, and laws need to be created to protect people from them.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *