Students protesting in National Walkout Day outside White House in Washington DC. Photo Credit: Lorie Shaull

Mass shootings spread panic across America

When 2019 started, people hoped that with it change to stop the numerous shootings would occur. However, with a mass shooting occurring nearly every day since the start of the new year, little has been addressed to solve the issue.  

Beginning in Tallahassee Florida on January 1st with the shooting and injuring of five people, another followed the very same day in South Carolina with the wounding of five others.  

The latest to hit the news, occurred on August 31st between the cities of Odessa and Midland Texas, resulted in the deaths of eight and injuring of 25, including a child just barely over a year old.  

Despite this and many other cases resulting in the deaths of minors and adults alike, there’s been little legislative action as a result of the split opinions among congress. Many instead blame mental health and video games, instead of the assault rifles designed to murder multiple people in seconds. 

The argument of many second-amendment defenders remains in the idea that regulations and restrictions would only prevent law-abiding citizens from gun use, while criminals would continue the illegal transactions, they’ve persisted in.  However, countries with restrictive gun control laws such as the United Kingdom, Australia and Japan settled this issue by then switching their focus to gang-related crimes alongside their banning of firearms. Once England addressed their gang areas and ballistic records in the early 2000s-gun crime dropped dramatically. Their last mass shooting was in 2010, in contrast to America’s near daily record.  

So, with all these examples of how gun control actually works, why won’t America take any action? 

Well, first off, one would have to overturn Heller v. District of Columbia, the court case deciding that the second amendment protected independent gun owners outside of state militias. Yet even if this were to become a reality, many politicians don’t see the subsequent outrage from law-abiding gun-owners as worth the trouble. In conjunction, a great deal of Republican lawmakers could lose their donations and support from the National Rifle Association (NRA), making many very wary to take a stance.

Others, suggest a revision of the second amendment to give more authority towards the government with regulations and a general outline of what constitutes firearm ownership. The specific details would prevent interpretative rulings like those of Heller v. District of Columbia. 

Though, if one plans to revise the second amendment, the question lingers for activists as to why one shouldn’t go ahead and outright ban firearms as a whole.  

Most of those in defense of second amendment rights state that lawful gun-owners shouldn’t be punished for the actions of criminals, but when the other option are the constant mass murders that’ve persisted otherwise, many feel their patience growing thin.  

The Trump Administration holds a history of avoidance with gun control, and the blind eye turned to the shootings has resulted in gun control becoming a highlighted point among democratic nominee hopefuls for the 2020 presidency such as Beto O’Rourke.  

While the ending for the mounting firearm controversy shows little sign of stopping, it’s certainly garnered a great deal of attention, from those both hoping to solve the issue and amplify it.

Katy Nelson

Since the age of 10, I've absolutely adored writing with all of my heart, and have wanted nothing more to craft something worthwhile with the written word. In my free-time, I enjoy drawing, reading, and helping those around me! I truly hope with my writings I'm able to leave this earth better than how it was when I arrived.