EDITORIAL: It is time for action, not just hashtags
Better gun control must be response to Las Vegas shooting
The nation has been left shaken after the mass shooting in Las Vegas on Sunday night. The 64-year-old shooter from Nevada shot into a crowd of 22,000 people and managed to leave 59 people dead and 527 injured. He singlehandedly incited the “worst mass shooting in modern American history.” President Donald J. Trump, like many others, took to Twitter to send his “warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families.”
Isn’t there anything more that we can give?
After the devastating events that took place on Sunday, the response from most people remained the same as always: This tragedy and others like it, although horrible, are inevitable. The satirical news site The Onion famously titled one of its articles, “’No Way to Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens,’” and just as is true with all satire, there is a disturbing truth to this.
The United States has a unique and alarming problem. Think about all of the times a hashtag to “pray for” a specific city had been trending in accordance to deaths related to shootings. This is not just something that “just happens.” This is something that is plaguing our nation. Americans are 10 times more likely to be killed by guns than people of other countries. And in comparison to 22 other countries that can be labeled as “high-income nations,” America has a gun-related murder rate that is 25 times higher. These numbers are not just drastic, they are frightening.
One of the problems with attempting to increase gun control is that the minute someone in America attempts to increase gun control, someone else interprets this as their rights being rebuked. It is true that the right to bear arms is protected under the Second Amendment, but people need to realize that the Constitution this amendment was written in was ratified over 200 years ago. The original intention of creating this amendment was to grant citizens the opportunity to “fight back against a tyrannical federal government.” After seeing a man use a semi-automatic weapon to shoot into a crowd of people enjoying a country concert, it is obvious that the original intention is not still in place.
It is understandable that people do not want to eradicate guns within the public completely. Plus, with the topic of gun control being so controversial, it is important to feel as though the nation is meeting a solution in the middle. In Nevada, you can carry a gun into restaurants, bars and casinos even if you are drinking alcohol. You do not need a permit to be able to purchase or even carry rifles and shotguns. And you have no limitations on the magazine capacity of the gun, or the number of guns you buy. This explains why the Las Vegas shooter had 16 guns in the hotel room from where he shot his victims.
No one is trying to take away guns. But how many mass shootings do there need to be for people to begin realizing that our system of gun control is broken and that action must be taken to crack down on it? Just last year, the FBI ruled that it would not be conducting background checks on those attempting to buy guns. Could this massacre have been avoided had this been different?
We need limitations on who can obtain guns and how. There is no reason that someone needs almost 20 rifles. Thoughts and prayers, and condolences and sympathies after devastating tragedies are not enough. We need action.