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Redwood Bark

Twelve seniors were presented with awards to recognize their commitment to being outstanding high school athletes (Photo by Zoe Gister).
Redwood senior athletes recognized in new venue celebration
Charlotte LacyMay 30, 2024

On May 20, senior athletes, parents and coaches gathered at Sam’s Anchor Cafe in Tiburon to recognize and celebrate the seniors committed...

Smiling and holding their floats, seniors make the most of their lunch.
Seniors stay a-float for senior week
Hannah HerbstMay 29, 2024

On Tuesday, May 28, after a long Memorial Day Weekend and with only twelve more academic days left of school, leadership kicked off Senior...

Boys’ varsity baseball marks history with first-ever state playoff victory
Boys’ varsity baseball marks history with first-ever state playoff victory
Will ParsonsMay 29, 2024

On May 28, the Giants’ varsity baseball team took on the Carmel Padres in the first Norcal state playoff game in the program’s history. The...

Stricter gun laws are the key to a safer future

Illustrated by Storey Gerber

How many deaths does it take to spark a change? In today’s world, sadly it is commonplace to see school shootings, deaths by suicide and other horrible incidents where children find their parents’ guns. This creates a global problem of gun violence that can affect anyone regardless of age, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status. The overall issue of firearms and the laws surrounding them is extremely controversial, however, we do have penal codes in place to attempt to prevent tragedies such as shootings. The Shouse California Law Group (SCLG) is a group of attorneys that are accredited by the Better Business Bureau. According to the SCLG, “Penal Code 25100 prohibits the criminal storage of a firearm. In simple terms, this means storing a gun where a child may access it.” Penal Code 25100 is a great step in the right direction but it doesn’t completely prevent the issue of storing a gun where it is accessible to a child. The problem is that a violation of this law is only sometimes a felony, and other times, considered just a misdemeanor. To show people that, as a country, the United States truly cares about gun violence, Penal Code 25100 must be amended to make the penalty of storing a gun where a child could access it, a felony. Along with this, firearms must be made harder to obtain, to take away a possible method of suicide.

According to Pew Research, half of the deaths by firearms are suicides. One reason death by suicide is so common and takes up such a large percentage of gun deaths is that there is a high temptation that comes with owning a gun. The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is the world’s largest library for biomedicine. According to the NLM, “Suicide attempts are usually regretted by people who survive them.” This shows that removing firearms as a method of suicide gives people more time to contemplate their decision and change their minds. Any additional opportunity to rethink suicide will save lives. Furthermore, survivors can speak out on their experiences of depression and suicide which can make current victims feel less helpless and less alone.

Many years ago, my uncle committed suicide by firearm. He had struggled with depression for a while and he went to a gun store and bought a gun as a “hunter” with no further background checks. He was not a hunter. Now, for as long as I can remember, I have watched my mom repeatedly cry over what could have been a preventable event. If my uncle had searched for a different method of suicide because firearms were harder to obtain, that would have given him more opportunity for reflection and a higher chance of failure. 

In a recent November/December Bark survey taken in 2023, out of 279 responses, eight percent of Redwood students admitted to attempting suicide before in their lives. With that high of a percentage in our own school, we should want firearms nowhere near accessible. 

One of the biggest obstacles in making laws around firearms is the Second Amendment of the US Constitution. On Congress.gov, it’s shown that the Second Amendment grants the “Right to Bear Arms.” As a result of this, it’s extremely difficult for lawmakers to create possible solutions to gun violence without the proposed law being unconstitutional. However, the Second Amendment was created in a vastly different time period and therefore should hold less sway in today’s world where firearms need to be kept in check to maintain safety and security. The issue of gun violence must be better addressed in a way that creates legal change, because every day, people are dying from something our country can more adequately prevent. The United States must amend Penal Code 25100 PC to make the punishment for storing a gun where a child may access it a felony instead of a misdemeanor, and establishments must do a more in-depth, concrete background check before allowing someone to buy a gun. To conclude, creating foolproof measures for containing firearm usage will save lives and guarantee a safer future for all.



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About the Contributor
Liam Healy
Liam Healy, Cub reporter
Liam Healy is a cub reporter for the Redwood Bark. He enjoys hanging out with friends and family and working out.