On Dec. 14, 2012, America was shocked when 20-year-old Adam Lanza killed a total of 28 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School. After this horrific event, many parents, congressmen and legislators gathered together to enforce stricter gun laws — laws that would have prevented something like this from happening. It seemed like common sense, right? Previous mass shootings like Columbine, Aurora and Virginia Tech raised the issue of gun control as the years went on and nothing was done, but Sandy Hook struck a new chord. The idea of young children being subjected to a school shooting would be the final straw. America would finally strengthen their gun laws and ban assault weapons from the hands of ordinary citizens and those suffering from mental illness, right?
Sadly, that was only partially true. I say was because, in February, Trump signed a bill that reversed Obama’s ban on mentally ill people buying firearms. Since 2012, because no new gun legislation was passed, hundreds of shootings have taken place in the United States alone including Isla Visa, Orlando and, most recently, Las Vegas.
The idea of gun control seems like a pretty easy pill to swallow. We see a problem with gun violence, so we realize the types of guns that these terrorists are carrying. We propose bills that prevent those same guns from falling into the hands of everyday citizens who have no use for them. After proposing said legislation, the bills are passed, everyone celebrates and gun violence decreases throughout the country. Unfortunately, our Republican-controlled Congress prevents this from happening. They play the “protecting my family” card and act like everyone needs a war-like assault weapon to scare off a robber. Or they go straight to the 2nd amendment, which should be altered to specify which guns Americans are able to bear, instead of leaving an open door that allows anyone to own any kind of firearm they like for no reason at all.
What frustrates me the most about this issue is the fact that, after 20 seven-and-eight-year-old children were shot and killed, nothing has changed. Nothing has been done to prevent it from happening again. Sandy Hook should have been the final straw.
I understand that you want to protect your families, or go hunting, I do. But do you need an assault weapon in order to do either of those things?
My final point is this: We cannot continue, as a country, if we are living in a constant state of fear. We cannot continue to strive and grow as a whole if we are too scared to go to a concert, the movies or school. Use that fear to your advantage and do something, anything. Start a charity. Organize a protest or a march. Call your reps. Make your voice known and put yourself out there. This can’t keep happening; at some point, there needs to be an end. Sandy Hook should have been the beginning of the end, but our government didn’t hear us. Make them listen and let them know that we will not sit idly by and wake up to a new tragedy every single day. We’re better than that.