Sometimes voices are louder than gun shots

Alexa Leopold, Stop Repeating Weapons

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Education is the first step to decreasing gun deaths in the United States, said voters at Hyatt Park Elementary School in Columbia, South Carolina.

On Election Day, I asked voters’ opinions on mass shootings occurring in what we may have thought were safe havens, such as churches and malls. I also asked voters for suggestions to reduce the number of shootings, and I asked them whether they agreed with Republican Donald Trump’s or Democrat Hillary Clinton’s stances on ending gun violence.

Beth Dinndorf, the president of Columbia College, a small liberal arts college in Columbia, South Carolina, is 65 and from St. Cloud, Minnesota. She believes more attention should be paid to providing mental health treatment to those in need.

“Many perpetrators of mass shootings were diagnosed with mental health issues,” said Dinndorf. As well, she believes safe havens, such as churches, should not become places where people fear for their lives.

Shantrice Bradley, 24 and a graduate assistant, believes “Education among youth is key, as well as understanding police brutality.

Bradley pointed out a sign posted at Hyatt Elementary, that said, “No concealed weapons.”

Bradley believes restricting civilian access to military-style weapons, such as semi-automatic and automatic weapons, might reduce deaths in mass shootings.

Jamesha Shackerford, 23, and a foundation associate at a local nonprofit, in Columbia, South Carolina, believes reaching agreement on ways to reduce gun violence is the first step.

Shackerford said that Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hilary Clinton had, “decent strategies on ending gun violence individually, but putting their ideas together would be more successful.”

The key to successfully eliminating mass shootings is “more regulation of guns and providing better education and awareness,” said Savannah Nugent, 18, a student at the College of Charleston, who is from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

While the four voters offered different opinions, all agreed, education about gun violence would be helpful, and all said that, mass shootings must end.

View Alexa Leopold’s blog Stop Repeating Weapons.

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