Gun violence is not unique to the United States. However, the 212 mass shootings in the first 5 months of the year and the 5 mass shootings occurring in 3 days are alarming. We’ve seen the outrage, we’ve heard it and we’ve feared the statistics. What’s stopping the U.S. from decreasing the number of mass shootings?
According to the New England Journal of Medicine, gun violence was the leading cause of death for children in 2020, surpassing motor vehicle accidents. Sandy Park, Oakland, Santa Fe and recently Uvalde—we’ve heard it’s the music, it’s the doors, it’s the video games, it’s the videos, it’s mental health, it’s bad parenting. But it’s never the guns, and it’s most certainly never the unrestricted gun laws. We often hear the quote “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people” from gun lobbyists but we should limit the kinds of people who have access to purchasing firearms.
If someone has to wait until they’re 21 to buy alcohol and cigarettes, why can they buy a gun at 18? If they have to see a doctor before getting birth control, why can they buy a gun without proper mandatory training? Why does a person need a semi-automatic rifle? Why are they allowed to keep these weapons in their home? Why are they allowed to easily transport these weapons?
In the wake of the Uvalde shooting, among others, Republican senators and supporters argued that it would be unconstitutional to take the right to bear arms away from law-abiding citizens. If this right is so important to them, then they should be able to see that laws are not being abided by when 19 students and two teachers are killed by a lone gunman while armed police officers waited more than an hour to confront him.
What is a person’s right to bear arms if no one feels safe in a supermarket, school, church or a concert? And no longer is it because a person is Black, Asian or gay. People are not only a victim of lax firearm laws, they’re a victim of government representatives who care more about their right to bear arms than they care about preserving the lives of their citizens, as well. They’re a victim in a country whose legislators care more about Jeremiah 29:11 being proof that God has a plan for a baby’s life than they care about a baby who was loved and cared for by their parents for seven, eight, nine and 40 years before being brutally taken from them.
We may not be able to stop gun violence, but we sure can reduce mass shootings by requiring background checks and training before buying a gun. We can reduce mass shootings by restricting semi automatic rifle purchases for leisure. We can reduce mass shootings by creating an age limit that is higher than 18.
By Khadejra Golding, Contributing Writer