Gone But Not Forgotten: Does America Need Stricter Firearm Law One Year After Parkland?

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On occasion of the first anniversary of the country’s deadliest high school shooting in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, killing 17 students and staff, Reuters surveyed online 6,800 Americans to understand their views on gun control.

According to the study, 69 percent of the participants, including 85 percent of Democrats and 57 percent of Republicans, required more strong or moderate restrictions on firearms. Furthermore, 55 percent of the respondents said there should become more difficult to own guns, while 10 percent opposed claiming that making firearm ownership easier would be better.

It is worth mentioning that among the surveyed parents with school-age kids, 65 percent confessed they were somewhat or anxious about gun violence in schools. Plus, most of those parents were in favor of improving school security. What is more, 61 percent of the parents would not mind publicly funding firearms training for teachers and academic staff. Also, 54 percent of them did not oppose the idea of school staff to carry guns.

In addition to that, the research also found out that although the Americans required stricter gun laws, the majority of them did not believe the lawmakers would amend the policies.

At the same time, two Democratic lawmakers from Illinois sponsored a bill to require potential gun buyers to give the police access to their social media history before being licensed to own a firearm. 

One of the bill's sponsors Rep. Daniel Didech commented that many people were having mental health issues and they often posted on social media their intentions to hurt themselves or others. Therefore, these people should get the necessary help, suggested Didech. For instance, Nicolas Cruz posted disturbing pictures on social media before allegedly opening mass shooting in Parkland a year ago.

In Didech's view, the bill would give the Illinois State Police additional tools to make sure that dangerous weapons would not get into possession of mentally unstable people.

The proposal is similar to the one proposed earlier in New York to allow the authorities to retrieve the web history of every gun license applicant. Although it was heavily criticized, the bill was approved by the new Board of Legislators in New York last month. It is still now clear when the lawmakers would vote on it. The proposal in Illinois does not lack adverse reactions too. For instance, ACLU's Rebecca Glenberg, the bill did not specify what the police would do with the gathered data, next to the First Amendment concerns.

Do you think that USA needs stricter gun control?