It seems that everywhere you look, there’s gun violence. At some point, it has become a regular event to see it on the news. The only word to describe the feeling when details of the latest shooting flashes across my screen is suffocation. Whether it’s at a school, concert, or mall, you can’t escape the looming threat of gun violence. It’s practically everywhere.

When news of a shooting at a video game tournament in Florida flashed across my Snapchat, it was yet another knife in the stomach. I was numb and detached. Not because the lives taken weren’t important, but because it was expected. Since the Parkland school shooting in Florida, there has been a shift. The difference is now, the original surprise of the tragedy that comes with firearms is constantly hanging in the back of everyone’s minds. Americans can’t go a couple of weeks without yet another reminder of everything that needs to change within our infrastructure.

Mass shootings are becoming the norm of this generation. Gun violence has only taken a turn for the worst. Yet, it’s as if everyone is trudging through it with an uncanny indifference until it hits too close to home. It’s become such a problem, that bulletproof bookbags and clothes were filling my feed while searching for school supplies. A Florida company that sells bulletproof clothing and accessories had their bulletproof backpacks sell out in a day after Parkland. However, this isn’t a problem that only extends towards school shootings. Mass shootings happen everywhere whether we realize it or not.

But what are we doing about it? Our ability to fix this relies heavily on politicians. By tightening gun laws, we are taking effective measures. Guns may not kill people, but when someone is looking to inflict serious damage quickly, they’re the go-to weapon. Dozens of mass shootings took place this year, how many lives could’ve been saved with simple background checks and mental health tests? This is where our legislature is failing us. Calling for an outright gun ban halts the progress that we can make. Instead, as a country, we can tighten the restrictions and do yearly checks. Maybe even classes. This isn’t a party issue, but it is a political issue. No matter the political affiliation, it’s important to fix this together.

With every mass shooting, I became more and more numb to gun violence. It’s hard to imagine that others aren’t feeling the same. Yet, we’re the only ones who can stop it. Eventually, we will, but the people lost to gun violence can’t wait to eventually and neither can I.

Picture: Gerd Altmann

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