If you attended the rave on Saturday night, you may know that someone made a fake threat of violence at the event. Even though the threat was false, the fear that it created was real. This is just one piece of evidence of the shared cultural trauma in America due to the countless mass shootings that have occurred in the last 20-25 years. I know that in high school, myself and others always had the fear in the back of our minds that a shooting would happen at our school.
Even if I just saw an adult stranger in the hallways, the thought would always cross my mind–“Am I safe?”
Inevitably, people argue that we are all overreacting. They argue that while tragedies such as Sandy Hook and Parkland are terrible, people are at fault, not guns. While I understand their argument, I feel it is illogical. If people are the problem, then why don’t we more heavily regulate who gets to own a gun in America? If people are the issue, why do we continue to make it so easy for them to hurt other people? If a person is mentally ill, it should not be easy for them to purchase a gun. If someone has committed a felony, they should not have to right to be able to own a weapon that could harm so many people. If we aren’t going to let them vote, why do we let them wield so much power to hurt people even more than they already have? Running a simple background check is a reasonable enough request and would most likely save many people.
It also should not even be possible for anyone to buy weapons such as AR-15’s and other weapons of war. There is absolutely no reason people to need to own such deadly and otherwise useless weapons. Just look at the Las Vegas shooting. A regular guy off the street was able to buy “bump stocks” which enabled him to shoot even faster. There is no other situation that something like that would ever be needed in the average person’s life.
However, no one in their right mind is arguing to completely abolish the second amendment. That notion is simply illogical and unrealistic. Owning antique and hunting guns is absolutely a right and I would never try to argue that people should not be able to own them.
I am making the simple argument that a normal civilian off the street should not be able to buy weapon of war or things that serve no other use than to hurt large amounts of people.
So the fact that both common people and people in our government get so angry at these requests is honestly insane and offensive. And to stoop so low as to make fun of teenagers trying to do the right thing, as is the case in the Parkland Shooting, is shameful. The fact that gun lobbyists are funding many of these Representatives and Senators explains why.
As we’ve been able to see already, if we continue to allow so many horrible mass shootings to occur in America, we will become desensitized to them. And we already are. If we couldn’t even correct our actions after something like Sandy Hook, where children were killed, how can we ever come back from that place? There is absolutely no excuse. While things have somewhat improved after students at Parkland and around the country acted and said no to gun violence, America still has quite a long way to go.
However, there is still hope. Everyone on campus can step up and voice their opinion. Almost everyone campus will be able to vote in this upcoming midterm election. We can all step up and vote out the people who do not represent us in both St. Paul and Washington D.C. If one of your representatives hasn’t voted for safer gun laws, they don’t deserve to represent you.
There is still time to register in Minnesota, and you can vote here in Saint Peter or get an absentee ballot from home.
We cannot sit by and watch while our situation only worsens and worsens. We have the power to change things, so we should.