Every time it happens we wonder, “why do innocent people keep dying?” Maybe instead, we need to be reminding each other that gun violence has to end, and actually take proactive steps to prevent more members of our communities from being murdered.

As America’s mass shootings become more common, we add two places to the list: Santa Clarita on Thursday, Nov. 14, and Fresno on Sunday, Nov. 17. These news stories have become so familiar to us that we no longer feel the urgency the haunting issue of gun violence requires from us.

In Santa Clarita, a student opened gunfire at a high school, killing two students and injuring three before attempting to kill himself. This all happened in a matter of seconds. It only took 16 seconds for a teenager to forever alter the lives of his community by taking the lives of innocent young adults. The shooting in Fresno has potential links to gang violence and occurred at a family gathering at home; 10 people were shot, with four dying from gunshot wounds.

Time and time again we face the issue of gun violence with more deaths each year, yet nothing has been done. If you are wondering if we are angry, then you are right. If you aren’t enraged at this point, you are not paying attention. Every time people die due to gun violence, we fall into the predictable cycle of thoughts and prayers, debates over changing gun laws and pretty much nothing else until the next time more members of our communities are senselessly murdered.

In the U.S., we are sending the message that it is okay for innocent citizens to continually die because the economy and the National Rifle Association (NRA) are more important. We should be ashamed that our country has such a high rate of gun violence. Americans are 25 times more likely to die from gun homicides than citizens in other wealthy countries, as reported by Time.

Here are a few active steps our country can take to prevent gun violence. A culture of gun safety, where firearms should not be in the hands of young people who might be at risk of harming themselves or others. We need to stop protecting the NRA and others in the gun industry. Manufacturers of such weapons must be held responsible for the misuse of their products. Moreover, there must be mandatory training for gun owners.

While many of us argue that we must get rid of guns to solve the problem of gun violence, maybe the first, smaller step is to acknowledge that will not be happening anytime soon. Instead, we need to be thinking about alternative short-term solutions, because every day we don’t do anything is another day innocent Americans are killed.

For more information on gun violence, check out Social Justice on Page 5.

Jacob Cornblatt is a junior film, television, and media studies major who watches a movie every day. He enjoys laying in a hammock under a palm tree, longing for the suffocating humidity of Gaithersburg, MD.

Kayan Tara is a senior Theatre Arts and English double major from Mumbai, India. In her free time she likes taking naps on the beach, trying new foods and contemplating the vastness of the universe as she drinks way too many cups of tea.

(1) comment

PatrioticUSGlory

SOME COMMENTS I'VE COLLECTED OVER THE YEAR:

(1) "Only a fool would give up a weapon in order to be protected by the government. The government can’t even protect us from telemarketers."

(2) "Fun fact: Democrats famously murdered 75 men women and children at Waco Texas trying to confiscate guns."

(3) "Could y'all stop with these bull**** gun control posts? Every time you do this my wife buys even more guns. Then she needs yet another gun safe. Then ammo. She just became an NRA lifetime member. Y'all, STOP."

(4). "To me, gun control would’ve been if they arrested him for punching his mother’s teeth out and he got a background that they could check,” explained Andrew Pollack, the father of a murdered Parkland shooting student. "Democrats put these policies in place that banned holding kids accountable or arresting them while they're juveniles... If they don't arrest them, they don't get a background check. Then they're able to purchase weapons legally and a background check is useless," he said.

"My daughter paid the ultimate sacrifice because of those Democratic policies and I've been hurt by the Democrats more than anybody in this country -- and I hold them responsible," Andrew Pollack, the father of a Parkland shooting victim, said.

(5) Virtually every year, Chicago has the most murders of any city in America. In 2017, the top five were: Chicago (650 murders), Baltimore (343), Philadelphia (317), New York (290), and Los Angeles (286).

All five of those cities have had Democratic mayors for decades and aggressive gun control policies—none seems to be working. Your explanation (“blame Indiana!”) doesn’t hold water. There are 27 states with GOP governors. Chicago is not alone in having neighboring red states.

But Chicago’s murder totals are often DOUBLE the next closest city. So how do you explain the big cities in red states, without aggressive gun control laws, where murder rates are MUCH lower than Chicago?

Maybe, rather than getting angry when others point out the tragically high murder rate in Chicago, you put aside the partisan talking points & the failed gun-control policies Chicago has pursued for decades. Instead, lock up the violent criminals who are committing murder.

PREVENT felons & fugitives from illegally buying firearms, and ALLOW law-abiding citizens (who are right now obeying Chicago’s prohibition) to exercise their constitutional right to protect their own lives and their families.

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