I have given up.
Every time that I try to write an article after a mass shooting, another one happens just a few days later.
It is a losing battle. Gun violence is here to stay it seems, and gun violence is going to happen again. Maybe tomorrow, maybe next week. What I have learned over time is that nothing is shocking to me anymore.
Sandy Hook didn’t shock me. I am pretty sure that it didn’t surprise you either. Aurora, San Bernardino — it is becoming all too familiar.
From January 2015 to Christmas, there have been 353 mass shootings in America. Let that sink in; that is close to one mass shooting a day over that period.
The killing doesn’t seem to stop. Nor does the terrible excuses for guns.
Every time there is a mass shooting, America plays a game of dancing around the issue. The people who are against guns say their thing; the people for guns say their thing. Nothing changes.
Just stop. We have a serious issue here; let’s make some progressive steps towards figuring it out together.
The arguments are ridiculous. “The only person that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” “Shootings happen in gun-free zones.” These are terrible arguments.
“The only person that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” This is not encouraged by law enforcement because of the simple problem that they can’t identify the shooter. Also, your random gun owner isn’t trained to the extent that an officer is trained. Simply put, there is a high chance the wrong person gets shot.
“But shootings happen in gun-free zones.” Gun-free zones are usually places most people can agree guns do not belong. Guns do not belong in schools, nor do they belong in grocery stores or theaters. Our country is a country of freedom. Freedom from following the law. The laws are not the issue though. This is a classic case of misdirection.
States with stricter gun laws are safer. States with looser gun laws are more susceptible to gun violence.
The actual numbers are as follows (according to the National Journal): 2.5 gun deaths per 100,000 for the state of Hawaii, and 19.8 per 100,000 for Alaska. Hawaii has many more gun regulations in place including wait times and background checks, whereas Alaska has neither of those.
Maybe now we can finally talk about setting stricter gun laws. Maybe now we can actually go around making changes. We can no longer ignore this issue.
If we were to outlaw assault rifles, we put those guns on the black market. We take a $1,500 gun and make it way more expensive. Due to risk, due to rarity, that gun becomes $40,000, maybe more, maybe less. But that becomes the weapon of a rich man, not an everyday man.
Let’s make 2016 a safer year; let’s make 2016 a better year. Maybe our national New Year’s resolution will be to have less than 300 mass shootings. Maybe it should be to have actually intelligent conversations about gun-related violence. Whatever we do, let’s not repeat our mistakes from 2015.