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  • Guneet Bal

Stresses of Being a Student in a Country with Lenient Gun Laws.

Updated: Oct 14, 2023

By: Guneet, Contributing Writer

Edited by: Elias Azizi, Editor in Chief

Being a student is a stressful title to have. Workloads continue to become bigger, and the peer and social pressure to conform to popular trends grows stronger. Just these two factors cause much anxiety in students. The easy access to firearms that many citizens have is not something students in particular should have to stress about; however, in recent years, the rate of school shootings in countries with lenient gun laws has increased drastically. In fact, where most countries in the world have had less than 1 school shootings in the past 15 years, the country with the most lenient gun laws, the United States, had 228 school shootings (World Population Review). This is not including non-school-related shootings. Many students in these countries report having anxiety about going to school, stating that they shouldn’t be risking their lives for education, and feel as though they’re going to school every day at the risk of never coming back home. “On top of recent surges in depression, anxiety, and suicides, a majority of teens now say they worry about a shooting happening at their school [...] those concerns have been linked with elevated anxiety levels and fear among students [...], Meanwhile, clinical psychologists, including Erika Felix, PhD, of the University of California, Santa Barbara, say the young people they treat are on high alert, constantly planning their escape route if violence breaks out in public” (Stress of mass shootings causing a cascade of collective traumas). This is not an irrational fear. Studies and statistics show that the number one cause of death of children and adolescents since 2019 in the US has switched from motor vehicle crashes to death from firearms (Current Causes of Death of Children and Adolescents in the United States).

With high levels of anxiety caused over such an unnecessary jurisdiction, many wonder what the government should do to reduce the accessibility of firearms. Julia Lee from Trinity College wrote a thesis comparing gun policies in the United States versus Canada. “The shooting in Paradise, Nevada in 2017 was one of the worst mass murders in the United States but did not lead to any new gun control policies. In contrast, following a similar event in Nova Scotia in 2020, Canada’s federal government banned over 1,500 models and variants of assault-style firearms” (A Comparative Analysis of Gun Policy in Canada and the United States). Furthermore, countries in Europe continue to restrict and/or ban firearms after only one mass shooting. A few examples of this include New Zealand, Norway, the UK, and Australia (These Countries Restricted Assault Weapons After Just One Mass Shooting ) Many government officials in these countries see the impact that one mass shooting can have and allow all gun owners to sell their weapons back to the government, as well as restricting shops and stores from selling firearms or firearm parts. Governments with lenient gun laws put their citizens at risk for substantial mental trauma, as well as fear for their lives.

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