We shouldn’t need school shootings to realize the danger of guns


Illustration Credit: Jessie Snyder / The Foothill Dragon Press

Emma Kolesnik

Illustration Credit: Jessie Snyder / The Foothill Dragon Press
Illustration Credit: Jessie Snyder / The Foothill Dragon Press


For the past five or more years, gun violence has been a topic in the news. We saw videos and read stories about school shootings such as Columbine or Sandy Hook. Those who are for keeping the status quo restate the line “guns don’t kill, people do.” Those who are against gun violence look at the news with horror with regard to the continuing tragedy.

Yet, when we watch school shootings on TV we are disconnected. We have the realization that people are killing with guns, but we don’t connect to it. In Ventura, we have never had a school shooting, however in this past week we came close.

A few weeks ago, a boy left his classroom at Buena High School, and tried to go to his car to get his gun and ammunition. Thankfully, the police arrived and stopped the Buena shooter before he shot anyone. Still, it startled me how close we came to possibly having a shooting.

This is not the first time this has happened in Ventura. Last year, there was a student who brought a gun to Ventura High School’s campus. This student also was stopped by the police before they could shoot.

I noticed a change in myself. Instead of the vague horror I felt at people who commit those crimes, I felt a sense of fear. I don’t think we should ban all use of firearms. I only want to understand why anyone who wants to can go to the store and get a military grade weapon that same day.

I understand using guns for protection. However, for that you only need a handgun. I understand hunting, I’ve been myself, yet for that you only need a rifle. I don’t understand why so many people in our country are convinced they need more powerful guns, maybe in case of a need to overthrow the government. I would be okay with them having those weapons though. As long as there is some obstacle in the path to obtaining automatic weapons.

Technology and psychology predicting aggression is getting more advanced. It is not overly difficult for the government to do a psychological evaluation of people who want to buy guns, and this would be an easy precaution to take.

California has some of these rules in place already. It also has a 10 day period someone has to wait before receiving their gun. These laws are a huge step, and show a positive path. However, these rules are not always reliable. Many of the guide lines regarding mental disorders require a court to decide this, and it is likely that there are many people who have guns that may have been considered a risk by a court. Many of these laws are not federal, and until they are it is still too easy for the people prohibited on the list to get guns.

Unfortunately, it often takes something like a school shooting in your town to change a person’s mind. It is only when people experience losing someone to gun violence that they grasp the danger of the current predicament. I wish this were not the case. More innocent lives should not have to be lost for guns to be regulated.

There have been 142 school shootings since 2013. None of these have been in Ventura, and I hope there never will be.  

My only wish is that people can think logically about gun regulation. It will not infringe on rights to create regulations for buying automatic weapons. It will just help to prevent more of these unnecessary school shootings from taking place.

Nobody thinks it will happen in their town, until it does. I didn’t think there would ever be any threat of a school shooting in Ventura, until there was.

What do you think?