Friday, May 18, there was yet another school shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas. Ten lives were lost and another ten people were left injured. This is now the 22nd school shooting to occur in the year 2018 and the third time in eight days that a gunman was on a school's campus. The shooter used a shotgun as well as a revolver that his father legally owned. He has also stated that he spared people that he liked because he wanted his story to be told. Among those who lost their lives, were nine students and one substitute teacher.

Not only was there a shooting, but authorities also found explosive devices that were on and off the campus.

None of the devices turned out to be functional. One was a pressure cooker with an alarm clock and nails which contained no explosive material and the other was an unlit Molotov cocktail.

Some students said that they were no longer surprised that the shooting happened there because it keeps happening everywhere. They figured it would happen there eventually. This is something sad to think about because there are kids accepting that they may go to school one day and die and they are no longer surprised.

Foreign exchange student, Sabika Sheikh was among those who lost their lives.

She was at Santa Fe High School as a part of the YES Pakistan program. She was in the United States for ten months and was scheduled to return home on June 10.

National gun laws

In the United States, a person must be 18 years of age to purchase shotguns, rifles, and ammunition.

But all other firearms must be sold to a person 21 years or older. This is by federal law, though states or local officials can raise the age restrictions as long as they do not lower them below the federal minimum. People who are restricted from purchasing a gun are those who are fugitives, deemed a danger to society, and people who have been committed to a mental institution involuntarily.

People who have felony convictions with a prison sentence longer than a year, or a misdemeanor with a sentence of two or more years, are also restricted from purchasing a firearm. The federal law also blocks the sale of firearms to anyone who is found guilty of possessing or using a controlled substance within the past year.

Where it gets tricky is where people are obtaining these guns. If a person is not making a living by selling guns, they do not need to have a license to sell the gun and the person purchasing the gun does not need to go through a background check as they would if they were purchasing the gun from a person with a firearm sales license. In a survey, done in 2017 by Harvard and Northwestern universities, they estimated that roughly one in five transactions occurs without a background check because the sale is done as a private sale or during a gun show by someone who is not in the business of buying and selling guns.

Someone may also purchase a gun for a third party individual as long as it is a gift and the recipient does not break the federal restrictions on gun ownership, to the purchaser's knowledge. The same thing applies to the transfer of guns from one person to the other. Children who are younger than 18 may possess a gun as long as there is written permission.

Possible reform

After the shooting at Parkland High School in Florida, the state decided to pass the Florida Gun Bill. This came after much protesting by students and parents demanding that there needed to be change. The bill does several things such as raise the age limit a person can purchase a gun from 18 to 21, create a waiting period, a ban on bump stocks which can be attached to rifles to enable them to fire faster, arm school employees, fund school security, and expand mental health services and regulations.

What this bill does not do is ban assault rifles, suspend the sale of AR-15s, ban the sale of high capacity magazines, and strengthen background checks.

The bill arming school employees was one of the more controversial things because many teachers have voiced that they do not want to be armed and they do not want to shoot a student. Many teachers have also stated that they would rather be given supplies for their classrooms over the money for a class to be allowed to carry a gun at school. The bill would create a $67 million "marshal" program under which full-time classroom teachers would not be allowed to be trained and armed, but coaches, counselors, and librarians could be. What many are upset by is the fact that the bill will not ban assault rifles or suspend sales on AR-15 rifles that are most commonly used in school shootings.

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