Long Beach Youth Weigh in on Gun Control

Feb. 10, 2013 / By

All over the country, people have been debating gun control after the tragic events at Sandy Hook elementary school left 20 children and six staffers killed.

Polarizing gun control debate and recent spasms of school violence have legislators and teachers from 15 states clutching their constitutions and trying to get more guns into classrooms to protect student safety. The Armed Teacher Training program has received over 600 applications since it began last month.

After all the heated discussions about policy, one voice has continued to be left out of the debate: the youth. Last week, Youth Radio in partnership with Radio Rookies in NYC hosted a live-chat to give students a chance to talk about gun violence and safety in their schools.

While opinions fell all over the spectrum, the consensus among the students on the live-chat seemed to be that more guns simply invite more altercations and violence between students, teachers, and authorities. Most agreed that giving their teachers guns would not increase their feeling of safety in the classroom.

Chris Alsobrook, a 21-year old student from the Bronx New York, participated in the chat, he went to a high school in East Oakland.

“It’s up to the individual officer to determine just how much safer having a gun on campus would be,” Alsobrook said. “To me what’s more important is that they are invested enough in that community and school enough to really do their job fairly and effectively.”

Some ideas for improving safety proposed by the students included hiring more counselors and practicing lockdown drills.

Because Long Beach youth were unable to participate in the live chat, VoiceWaves caught up with high school students at Jordan High School in North Long Beach and asked for their opinions. The video above documents their views.

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Patrick Moreno

Patrick Moreno is a graduate of the CSULB department of journalism. He wrote for the Daily 49er and spent more than a year with VoiceWaves reporting on the diverse communities of Long Beach. Originally from Ventura California, Moreno studied photography for 5 years before transferring to CSULB to work on his writing. At the heart of his work is Moreno's love for culture and the arts, but it is through factual and fair reporting that he hopes to transform his community into a place where people can express themselves and continue to thrive. Patrick is also a musician, artist and photographer, beach bum, and capoerista!