Gun Violence in the US: Standing Still is Not Patriotic, it is Irresponsible

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Published February 14, 2018
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The Montclarion
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com via Creative Commons

I am tired of hearing the same tune; that eerily similar narrative of the rampant gun violence that occurs in the United States. I am tired of the same old, hyperbolic and partisan politics that tend to surround this issue, whether it be Republicans or Democrats. I am tired of feeling like a law first established in 1791 — back when rifles took eight hours to reload and were less accurate than my jump shots in basketball — is something we will continue to hold to an insatiable level of reverence. All of this violence is tiring.

Despite being just a little over a month into 2018, there have been 27 mass shootings reported to have taken place in the U.S. According to The New York Times, the school shooting in Kentucky made the 11th in the nation as of Jan. 23.

These shootings go unnoticed for a myriad of reasons. One of which is that only the most dramatic examples draw significant attention. The latest example being the shooting in Las Vegas in October 2017, where a man opened fire on a crowd of concert attendees from his suite on the 32nd floor of the nearby Mandalay Bay hotel.

Just like so many of the similar tragedies that came before it, there is nothing that has been enacted to suggest a change is coming. However, it seems like simple naivety to expect anything different at this point. If the murders of children — as had occurred in the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting — did not lead to anything, then what will?

I could go deeper into the statistical minutia of gun violence, but that is not the idea I want to stress the most. Instead, it is the plea for us to start having more reasonable, empirically supported stances and discussions on what is easily one of this country’s most contentious and sensitive issues. A complete overhaul of the Second Amendment is unrealistic, as it would require an untenable two-thirds of both the House and Senate, as well as three-fourths of the U.S. to take effect. Aiming for that extremity is not worth the time or the effort.

On the other end, it is foolish to sit still like frightened rabbits and refuse to do a single thing. We need compromise, not politically stagnant ultimatums that lead to nothing.

I am not an expert, but I do not feel like it is a stretch to want something — anything really — to happen. Perhaps there are more thorough background checks or even a grace period after purchase that could be implemented. We need to work at it.

Whatever side you fall on, I think everyone can get behind the idea of just trying. I dream of a time where this distressing routine of people being senselessly murdered becomes less so, like other countries have shown. I am truly, genuinely sorry for anyone that might be offended by me saying I want something to change. By sorry, I mean the exact opposite.

Would it not be worthwhile to save the life of even one person?

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