This afternoon I found on my news feed that another college, this time Seattle Pacific University, was hit by a gunman. Details at this point are still few, but what is known at this time is that one person has died, three more are in the hospital, and that the gunman was disarmed by students while reloading his gun.

While I’m glad that nobody was hurt, I have one question: is it enough yet? Because it’s only been a couple of weeks since Elliot Rodger went on a shooting spree in his black BMW, killing 7 people around UC Santa Barbara because, as he said in a very creepy YouTube video, “girls aren’t interested in me”. And these are just the most recent: Sandy Hook, Aurora, Virginia Tech, the Sikh Temple, and even more that I may have missed. The point is, we have a serious gun problem here in the United States, as well as a serious opposition to seeing any sort of change to try and stem the bloodshed. In fact, only a couple of states have enacted any sort of gun legislation, such as background check and limitations on ammunition or automatic rifle bans. Other states have actually made it easier to get and carry guns around, and the federal government has bowed to the pressure of gun lobbies so that no legislation has gone through on that part.

Look, I know that as a nation the United States is slow to do things that are vital to protecting the health of its current and future citizens. Our healthcare is still tied for 37th place worldwide, our welfare system loses funding every year as well as our education system, and the road to environmental reforms designed to stop climate change is like climbing a mountain sometimes. But honestly, we’ve lost so many lives to gun violence in so many years, and every time, everything from the media to lack of God to making gun pictures in school is blamed, but guns are not. Legislation dies, the news moves elsewhere. And every time the event repeats, more people shout “Enough is enough! We’re tired of this!”

Indeed we are. And we’re tired of the rhetoric against gun control. “Guns don’t kill people, people do.” If that’s so, do toasters not toast toast, but toast toasts toast? “Gun laws don’t work, because people will still break the law to get guns.” And people will still buy meth even against drug laws or run red lights against traffic laws. Maybe we should get rid of law altogether. “We have a Second Amendment right to guns.” That amendment was written when the worst you had was a hunting rifle, that rifle could get your family food for the week, and the state might call upon you at any time for a militia. Not to mention that a handgun does just as much damage to an intruder in your home as an automatic rifle, which is actually worse for hunting than just a regular rifle. And you know what else is a right to us as Americans? Freedom of speech, but the Secret Service will still arrest people who say they will kill the President or anyone else in high office.

Look, I’m not saying that we should lock away every gun in the United States and only let the military, police, or the government handle them. But I think some common sense laws would do a world of good. Several other developed nations have gun control laws, and remarkably, their levels of homicides and suicides with guns are much lower than that of the United States. Surely we can do the same and be even better at it, if the USA really is the greatest nation in the world?

Or are we going to let some more shootings happen? Where will they happen next, I wonder? Perhaps one will happen in my backyard, near where I live and go to school. Or one will happen on Capitol Hill and scare the bejesus out of every senator around. Or maybe at another elementary school! The point is, the way things are it’s very easy for these shootings to happen at all these locations and more! Airports, grocery stores, office buildings, subway systems, libraries, apartment buildings–stop me anytime!

None of us want this to happen again. But unless we enact some long-term change, gun violence will continue to be a constant problem in our nation, and will claim the lives of so many more. And that’s something we just can’t keep allowing if we’re to continue on as a country, especially one that the rest of the world looks to a lot as an example of what it means to be a superpower.

Oh, and I just want to mention one more thing: two girls, much more influenced in their crime by violent media than any other killer I’ve seen so far, nearly murdered their friend after stabbing her 19 times in the name of Slender Man. I garauntee you, if she was shot with a gun even once, she probably wouldn’t have survived. And the man who attacked a bunch of children in China with a knife around the same time as the Sandy Hook massacre? All of those kids survived too. Just something to chew on.

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Comments
  1. Amen to that. I trust some pro-gun folks are going to be stopping by to hurl vitriol at you again now?

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