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School Shootings, School Safety, and Gun Control

Claire Sloane, Reporter

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Dalvin Brown, an 18-year-old student at Canyon Springs High School, was killed during a shooting on Tuesday, September 11. The victim was transported to and later died at University Medical Center. The shooter has not been found.

  Around 2:40 p.m. on Sept. 11, gunshots were heard from the northwest side of the campus. The incident occured on school grounds, near the school’s athletics fields. The North Las Vegas Police Department determined the victim was specifically targeted because no one else was injured in the incident.

  The school day had ended at 2:05 p.m., but hundreds of students were still on campus for various after-school activities. Less than an hour after school had ended, gunshots were heard. The high school entered a hard lockdown, which was lifted at about 4:45 p.m.

  Canyon Springs student Alonso Casillas, 12, is on the varsity football team. At the time of the shooting, his team was in the weight room. “The JV and freshman teams ran inside because they were practicing outside,” Alonso said. “They all came in saying they heard gunshots and then we had a hard lockdown.”

  Surrounding schools like Mojave High School, Bridger Middle School, and Wilhelm Elementary School also entered lockdowns.

  Students at LVA are voicing their distaste in how the press is responding to the shooting at Canyon Springs. Mariachi major Julissa Torres, 11, said because of the neighborhood that surrounds the school, this incident isn’t getting nearly as much recognition as it should. “It’s like people were expecting this to happen…that people who live in low income neighborhoods are used to seeing violence and dealing with it.”

  Julissa, as well as mariachi major Roxana Chavez, 11, believe that had an incident like this occurred at a school in a “better” neighborhood such as Bishop Gorman High School or Faith Lutheran High School, the city-wide response would have been entirely different.

  While neither Julissa nor Roxana were at the school at the time of the shooting, Roxana’s father was picking up her brother when the shooting started.

  “[My father’s] exact words translate to: ‘I have never seen so many students in fear running, trying to hide,’” she said.

  Roxana believes that students shouldn’t have to wonder if a shooting will occur at their school and they shouldn’t have to fear that they may never come home.

  The shooting at Canyon Springs was the sixth of seven gun-related events to affect the Clark County School District since the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year.

  On Aug. 13, the first day of school, a loaded gun was confiscated from an intoxicated student at Green Valley High School. On Aug. 22, a loaded gun was confiscated at Centennial High School. On Aug. 28, a loaded gun was confiscated at Sierra Vista High School. On Aug. 31, an adult was arrested after pulling a gun on a student near Chaparral High School. On Sept. 4, a loaded gun was confiscated at Mojave High School. On Sept. 11, a student was shot and killed at Canyon Springs High School. On Sept. 12, a loaded gun was confiscated from a student at Desert Rose High School.

  In light of the various gun-related school incidents affecting the country, 53 new school safety laws have been passed in states this year. School districts are spending millions of dollars on new security measures and equipment for their schools.

  America is one of three countries in which the right to bear arms is constitutionally protected. America also has one of the highest gun homicide rates in the world. On average, 93 Americans are killed with guns every day, and around 7 of them are teenagers and children. On average, there are approximately 25 times more gun homicides in America than in other developed countries.

  Schools in CCSD have been implementing new safety measures. Recently-built schools include design features such as a single public entry point into a secure lobby, extensive video surveillance, and automatically locking doors. But fortifying schools can only go so far. The inescapable fact is that the solution to school shootings – as well as all mass shootings – must include stricter gun-control laws.

  The public has been acting out against the gun laws that are already in effect. Gun-control advocates demand stricter laws. The other two countries in which the right to bear arms is constitutionally protected, Mexico and Guatemala, both enforce restrictions on who can possess a firearm, and what type of firearm they may possess. But in America, there are few laws that regulate who can own firearms, varying from state to state.

  As the school year progresses, it is likely that new security measures will be implemented at schools within the district. CCSD is working towards making all schools safe for all students, and gun-control advocates are working towards making the country safe for everyone.

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School Shootings, School Safety, and Gun Control