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The student news site of Londonderry High School

Lancer Spirit Online

The student news site of Londonderry High School

Lancer Spirit Online

Only soldiers—not citizens—need semi-automatic weapons.

Artwork by Natalie Merhib
There is no place for guns in the school halls. Students are there to learn math and science, not how to blockade a door.

Americans woke up on the fifth anniversary of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting to learn the horrific news that 3 more students became victims of a school shooting. On the eve of Valentine’s Day, a gunman opened fire at Michigan State University, killing 3 students and injuring another 5. Nearly 3 hours after firing off the first shot, he was caught and detained.

Some MSU students were already too familiar with this terrifying reality. A freshman had survived the Oxford High School shooting fourteen months prior, and another survived the Sandy Hook shooting at just 11 years old. 

This simple connection of four different school shootings does more than prove things need to change. Thoughts and prayers don’t work when kids are staring at the end of a gun. Politicians say we need action now but then do nothing.

In New Zealand, a month after a mass shooting left 51 people dead and 50 wounded, the country’s parliament voted nearly unanimously to ban semi-automatic weapons and assault rifles. 

Just like that.

To purchase a gun in New Zealand is now a feat in and of itself. You must first prove to police you are a “fit and proper person to possess firearms”. You must then prove you have a safe place to store the weapon and ammunition, which will then be approved by the police. You’ll then have to have an approved criminal history check.

The guidelines to purchasing and owning a gun in America differs from state to state. In some states, people can’t openly carry a firearm in public, while in other states it’s only a handgun or long gun. In N.H., citizens are allowed an open and concealed carry without a permit.

Good citizens should have the right to arm themselves for protection, hunting, or a safe and genuine reason. But do you need a weapon of war to kill a turkey? 

The most recognizable gun for everyday citizens is the AR-15. Named after its original manufacturer Armalite, the design was sold in 1959 to the Colt company, who began production of an AR-15 style weapon for the Vietnam War. After the war, the gun was changed to be a semi-automatic weapon, and targeted towards civilians and law enforcement. 

While only one bullet will be fired with each trigger pull, the gun will automatically reload if it is designed as a semi-automatic. Semi-automatic rifles were used at Uvalde, Parkland, Sandy Hook, and many more mass shootings across America. A weapon conceived to fight in war now resides in the halls where students walk everyday.

How long until a massacre happens in our home state? Until our town is on national news with images of crying families? Will thoughts and prayers work then?

We’re the land of the free and the home of the brave. The freedom for civilians to use weapons of war, and the brave who have survived mass shootings 

American’s do not need assault weapons. When our Constitution was written, the founding fathers had single shot muskets and dueling pistols, not an AR-15. Our country has grown and prospered in our 250 years, yet we’re the country with the most school shootings

It is the duty of our leaders to protect the people. It’s been their duty. They need to show up and be there for the next generation of our country.

View Comments (3)
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About the Contributor
Andrew Macpherson, Opinion Editor
Senior Andrew Macpherson has written for The Lancer Spirit for three years, but this will be his first year as Opinion Editor. He is an avid activist for mental health and LGBTQ+ issues. In New Hampshire, he has spoken at the statehouse against harmful bills to the LGBTQ+ community. In his spare time, he enjoys riding his horse Whiskey.

Comments (3)

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  • A

    Mar 10, 2023 at 4:02 pm

    I also wanted to add, should we ban pistols aswell? They are semi automatic weapons, what about shot guns? A lot of modern day shot guns are semi automatic aswell…

  • A

    Mar 10, 2023 at 3:31 pm

    This is a very unfortunate opinion for a couple of reasons…

    I’d like to use an example such as drugs, as we all know drugs are illegal, does that stop criminals from using drugs? Possessing drugs, dealing drugs, selling drugs? It doesn’t, with firearms, you will only be removing the possession of rifles from law abiding citizens not the criminals. The only way to defend yourself from these weapons is to even the playing field and have one yourself. I’m a huge supporter, but unfortunate they are unreliable, I’ll use Manchester as an example, Manchester recently hasn’t had the proper staffing. There’s been times where there are no police available.

    If we remove rifles from law abiding citizens, we will see more shootings. It’s time to arm schools and make it acceptable for competent teachers who have the ability to carry a firearm carry it. In LHS, I’ll use the example of all our teachers who are veterans. There’s a good amount of them and I’m sure they have firearms & the skills to carry them safely.

    I’d like the author to re-look at their solution and think about the actual facts and take your opinion out of it for a minute. Only law abiding citizens follow laws NOT criminals.

    • A

      Andrew Macpherson
      Mar 13, 2023 at 1:06 pm

      Thank you for your input! This work is an opinion piece, focused on my opinion on gun control and school shootings, along with statistics surrounding this issue. I am sure that some teachers can be trusted and want to protect their students, however, having a gun in the same room you’re trying to take a math test in can be unnerving. There has been stories around the country of teachers doing unnerving things, such as the teacher who had a “kill list” of her students. Yes, veterans have past training but they are teachers now.

      When New Zealand banned semi-automatic and automatic weapons, they offered money compensation for those who turned their weapons in. In the time the buyback program was around, the N.Z. government received about 56,000 weapons. Who knows, maybe if states implemented that, would-be criminals would give away their guns for the money?

      Again, I appreciate your input to this article, and important topic! We all need to learn to listen to each other’s views and not immediately argue.

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The student news site of Londonderry High School
Only soldiers—not citizens—need semi-automatic weapons.