Guns are a disease that has quickly taken over our nation. The call for stricter gun control laws has been increasing over the past several years throughout the U.S.
The argument that guns are either weapons of death or a natural right for American citizens to bear arms under the Second Amendment, has been tossed around and then forgotten. The discussions seem to falter in the aftermath of any shooting to allow time for mourning, but if we made decisions these tragedies could cease to happen.
In 2017 alone, 307 mass shootings (defined as the killing of three or more people) have occurred in the U.S. in less than 310 days. Almost 14,000 have been killed and over 28,000 have been injured by guns.
The causalities of the gun statistics are increasing, yet people are turning a blind eye even as these atrocities continue to occur.
To bring it closer to home, San Bernardino suffered a home terrorist attack in 2015, as well a recent school shooting at North Park Elementary last year.
Growing up in this city, I was constantly surrounded by gun violence. Whether it was drive-bys at parties, neighbors being shot outside of my driveway for gang initiation, or hostage situations at school, gun violence became a routine.
We adjust and become desensitized to the terror around us.
California has some of the most restrictive laws regarding gun control, including a waiting period of ten days, firearm registration and an assault rifle ban. These laws are easily disregarded and worked around due to the easy access to guns in neighboring states such as Arizona, which has little to no infringements on purchasing a weapon.
California Senator, Dianne Feinstein, previously wrote the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013, which was not passed due to the NRA’s lobbying used in Republican politics.
After the mass shooting in Las Vegas, she is trying to bring it back to Congress with modifications.
These modifications would ban the use of bump stocks, which are devices attached to semi-automatic weapons that allow them to fire faster and are not illegal under federal law. Twelve of the rifles used by the Las Vegas shooter were modified using these attachments.
Banning guns would not take place in America for several years, however, it is something to start pushing for as hard as we can.
As a country, we hold onto the patriotic ideology that if guns were taken away from our citizens, we would lose something from our history, but we would be building a better future.
What we should do is open the conversation about limiting access to the types of weapons that are sold and create a better system for who can purchase and carry weapons.
For example, the United Kingdom allows certain measures for farmers or people that hunt for sport. The average citizen, however, has regulations placed on them after the massacres at Dunblane Primary School and the town of Hungerford.
Other high-income countries such as Japan, Germany and Australia have also implemented strict regulations regarding the ownership of assault weapons. This has resulted in little to almost no gun crimes.
It is time for American citizens to look at the effects that guns have on our society.
No longer should we hide behind the Second Amendment and think of the past. We should be thinking about our future and what is best for our society.
We shouldn’t constantly be forced to worry about our friends and family waiting for the next tragedy to strike.