Opinions differ as public shootings increase

Opinions differ as public shootings increase.

The shooting at an Oregon high school that claimed the life of a 14-year-old freshman is just the latest in a string of recent school shootings across the country.

According to the Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund, there have been 74 school shootings since the December 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

A shooting, according to the study, is defined as when a firearm was discharged inside a school building or on campus grounds including assaults, homicides, suicides and accidental shootings.

Parents along the streets of Jefferson City Wednesday had varied opinions on whether they worry about sending their children to school.

But the gun violence isn't limited to schools; places like malls, movie theaters and restaurants are also becoming crime scenes.

Jefferson City resident Cam Lupkey said he thinks about shootings in public areas all the time.

"I like conceal and carry. I think it's necessary these days because society is collapsing," Lupkey said.

Kansas City residents Amy Scott and Megan Augustine said the idea is in the back of their minds, but they don't let it impact their day-to-day lives.

"You think about it occasionally but you also still have to live your life," Amy Scott said.

"You can't always live your life in fear, if you live your life in fear you're never going to be able to do anything and that's not really any kind of life to live at all," Augustine said.

The political debate on curbing gun violence rages on, but many believe the answer lies outside of legislation.

"I think it starts at home. Even if the child is of age, 18 or older, if they're considered an adult...parents still should be active in the child's life," Jefferson City resident Rhonda Thompson.

"Not putting the people...the perpetrators I guess... on the front page or making a big issue about it," Linn resident Janelle Jaegers said.

"There definitely needs to be more mental health services available, there needs to be more funding for it, people not having to wait months and months and stuff to be able to get in for behavioral care," Scott said.