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Gun law amendments are imperative for the safety of America

Guns+are+becoming+a+threat+to+society+in+America+today.
Guns are becoming a threat to society in America today.

Guns are becoming a threat to society in America today.

Courtesy of Flickr - Svadilfari Toy Guns

Courtesy of Flickr - Svadilfari Toy Guns

Guns are becoming a threat to society in America today.

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In wake of the tragic Parkland school shooting, the gun debate now seems different. Students are now at the forefront of the movement and they seem determined to witness some real change. Finally, it seems, the gun debate is not going to take its same circle and have to wait until there is another mass shooting.

There are two categories to separate the debate into reforms at the national level and reforms at schools themselves.

Japan can serve as a model for the way to end mass shootings, having one of the lowest gun death rates in the world. America’s rate is over 95 times greater than Japan’s according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

If Japanese want to own a gun, they must attend an all-day class, pass a written test and achieve near perfect accuracy at a shooting-range test. After this, a prospective buyer must undergo a mental health evaluation at a hospital. Then, there is an intense background check where family and friends are interviewed. This process has to be redone every three years.

In 33 states, Americans can purchase a gun without having to undergo a background check. This is caused by a loophole in the 1993 Brady Act which mandates a federal background check for federally licensed firearm dealers.

The loophole comes in with non-licensed gun sellers. With these sellers, background checks are not required and unless state law mandates a background check, American’s can make off with a gun too easily.

It is too idealistic to expect the American way to be like that of the Japanese overnight. However, there are baby steps that can be taken.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) is tasked with making sure dealers comply with regulations. However, a 2014 report from the Government Accountability Office found that the ATF did not have the resources to carry out its core mission.

This fosters corrupt dealers who sell guns to people who should not have access to a gun. If President Trump truly cares about students and the lives of all American’s, then he will order more resources to be allocated to the ATF.

It is illegal to possess an automatic weapon in the United States that was made after 1986. However, bump stocks allow the gun to continuously fire without having a shooter to manually squeeze the trigger every time. This allows rifles to nearly reach the rate of fire of a fully automatic weapon.

California is the only state that explicitly bans bump stocks. However, things seem to be going in the right direction with Trump recently directing the DOJ to ban bump stocks. However, this ban, as well as several other proposed regulations, have to undergo congressional approval, something that is far from a cake walk.

The reforms to schools are just as important to that of the national level.

A future where students have to walk through a metal detector to enter school does not seem so far-fetched.

At Cherry Hill East, it seems all too easy to gain access to the school. Most of the doors in the school are left unattended and there is an issue with students opening doors for each other. Truly, anyone can get into the school without having to go through the main entrance.

Cherry Hill East principal, Dr. Dennis Perry, has even recently made an announcement about students opening doors for people. A simple announcement is not enough. Concrete action is beyond necessary to prevent a Parkland-type massacre from entering East’s walls.

The Cherry Hill Board of Educations only has policies that deal with weapons offenses after the fact. These policies need to be more proactive and implement changes to the school.

First off, there should be a staff member at every entry point to the school at all times. This will deter and allow a better decision to be made regarding the entry of anyone from these entrances.

There must always be a police officer on school grounds during school hours at all times as well. This will allow for quicker action to be taken in case of such event. As for campus police, students are not totally aware of the protective measures that they possess. Therefore, it would also make sense for these measures to be made known.

These reforms at both a school and national level can help reduce the risk of mass shootings, in and out of schools. Students are worried that their school will be next. It is felt that a shooting is only a ticking time bomb. Therefore, reforms are imperative.

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About the Writer
Gregory Rothkoff, Eastside Opinions Editor

Greg loves pumping iron or shedding sweat during cardio on any given day at the gym. When he is not grinding, he can be seen volunteering for teens with special needs. Greg is a huge Phillies fan. His favorite place to be on a weeknight is at Citizens Bank Park.

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Gun law amendments are imperative for the safety of America