Alabama gun laws need revising


Officer Miller helps maintain a safe environment for students and teachers.

Abigail Dasinger, Student reporter

Lessons, testing and follow-up needed for gun owners.

by Abigail Dasinger, reporter

Students and parents in America are facing a pressing issue, and that is gun violence. Students all around America are dying. It is imperative that we get this issue under control, and I believe stricter gun laws will help. 

Several people, especially on the right wing, disagree with this. They argue that taking away guns will make them unsafe because “criminals will not hand over guns.” When I say gun control, I am not talking about completely banning guns, I am talking about making laws on buying guns more strict. Therefore, citizens will still have a gun to protect themselves, as long as they are capable of safely owning a gun. 

Fairhope High School resource officer David Miller believes that people have their 2nd amendment rights but also believes there should be more to it than that.

“I understand that people have a right to guns because of the second amendment, but lord not everybody should have a gun. It’s like a driver’s license… you can’t drive just because you turned sixteen. You have to learn how to drive, be tested on your driving skills and be tested on your knowledge of driving laws. It should be treated the same way with buying guns,” Miller said.

Right now Alabama gun laws are, in my opinion, too lenient.

According to Giffords Law Center, “As of January 1, 2023, anyone age 18 or over who is not prohibited by state or federal law may carry a handgun in the state without a permit, background check or safety training”[1]

Similarly, Alabama Law Enforcement Agency allows possession of machine guns. “Alabama law does not restrict the possession or transfer of machine guns.” [2]

In my opinion, no ordinary citizen should be allowed to carry machine guns. No average citizen needs a machine gun.

One thing I think everyone can agree on is that any school shooter has some kind of mental illness. 

FHS principal Jon Cardwell emphasizes the importance of mental health in regard to this issue. “I think the main factor in school shootings is mental illness… it’s not a popular thing to spend money on but it is a necessary thing to spend money on. If you look at the nation, there is not enough put in place to help with mental health among the people. I think that the number one priority is preventing school shootings.”

People trying to buy a weapon should be required to have a psychiatric evaluation beforehand. 

Potential gun buyers should also be required to take lessons on how to use a gun and the dangers of it followed by follow-up testing to ensure that they have learned enough to be responsible for a gun.

Even with gun owner responsibility, the biggest issue is that the gun owner’s household members often have access to guns that are believed to be secure. 

According to the Sandy Hook Promise website, “An estimated 4.6 million American children live in a home where a gun is kept loaded and unlocked.” [3] 

Gun-owning parents may tell themselves that their kids don’t know where it is or do not have access, but they are likely mistaken. 

“Nearly half of all parents with a weapon in the home wrongly believe their children don’t know where their gun is stored.” [3] 

People can try to brush this off like it is nothing. Maybe it is too difficult to think about? But ignoring it won’t save us. 

“Guns are the leading cause of death among American children and teens.” [3]

People may say, “It isn’t the guns, it’s people.” And yet countries that have put gun law reforms in place have seen a decline in violence. 

According to 15 IHME, “Australia’s 1996 gun law reforms were followed by more than a decade free of fatal mass shootings, and accelerated declines in firearm deaths.” [4]

The issue of gun violence has been increasing heavily as nothing has been done. 

Website K-12 Dive highlights, “School shootings have increased 163% since 2020 and 1,900% since 2010.” [5]

If Americans continue to ignore this issue and hope that it will “work itself out,” the question “Will there be another shooting?” will turn into “WHEN will there be another shooting?”