Opinion: It’s time to do something about gun violence in America


When I started this column, there had been 23 mass shootings in the U.S. But in two weeks since then, seven  more mass shootings have occurred, with the most recent one taking place yesterday.

This is the highest amount of gun related deaths and injuries reported in a two month period our country has ever seen. Throughout 2017 and into 2018, President Trump has done nothing about the alarming rate of gun violence. What we need are stricter gun laws and more gun safety education. With more gun control laws, this country will be a much safer place for all citizens.

Americans own nearly 48 percent of all civilian owned guns in the world. We are an outlier compared to other first world countries, with our gun homicide rate 25 percent higher than other first world countries. Most other countries enacted gun reform after only one devastating shooting incident, while America continues to do nothing.

A psych evaluation, although helpful, won’t fix this epidemic.

Former President  Barack Obama signed a law saying it was illegal for certified mentally ill people– who could not handle their own papers to get access to the government– to own guns. President Trump has abolished this law, while also stating that a mass shooting in Texas “was not a gun problem, it was a mental health problem.” Trump hasn’t given a clear opinion on the problem, and has effectively done nothing to help end this epidemic.

When the Second Amendment was written in 1791, guns were very different. In order to shoot a gun, it took three minutes to load it, and that’s not accounting for aim time. Guns were also not automatic like they are now.

The country was also under attack from Natives and the British, and needed to be able to create a militia in a moments notice. Now, times are different.  A person can buy a gun and some bullets at Walmart, load the gun, and shoot. We don’t need a militia anymore. We have a strong army ready to defend the country. With the exception of mass shootings, America is no longer under attack in civilian areas. 

Twenty children didn’t get to go home from Sandy Hook elementary on December 14th, 2012. Their rooms remain stagnant, and their parents will never see them marry, or drive. None of those kids will have a chance to grow old. This is the America without gun control, where mentally-ill or hazardous Americans have access to these weapons.

In Newtown, taking a life barely started without a second thought. These parents were left with unopened Christmas presents and unfulfilled promises to their children. If only there were laws to protect their six and seven year-olds. These are the people to think about every time gun control is fought against. The parents are left full of what could have been. The children who woke for kindergarten and never went home. The teachers who gave their lives to  protect their students.

What if this were you, or your family?

Owning guns is your right as an American. Hunting is well within your rights. It’s widely understood that the average gun owning Americans aren’t at fault for the shootings, but the people need to see the bigger picture.

Children like the ones in Connecticut and Florida are relying on you to vote for their safety so that these weapons don’t fall into the wrong hands. Its up to the responsible gun owner to see the flaws in the system. Gun violence is a menacing albatross swooping through our nation, and we still have done nothing to stop it.

The police aren’t going door to door to take your guns away, but they should make it harder for for the weapons to fall into the wrong hands. Loopholes at places like gun shows and some commercial/private businesses make it far too easy for guns to fall into the hands of an unstable civilian.

Obviously the problem isn’t so simple as race or mental illness. We need to reconsider how we go about the production of guns and who owns them. Gun control and stricter law will help gun violence go down significantly, making the country a safer place for everyone.

There is no need for America to be best at school shootings.  Lives are at stake here,