HANNAH WILLIAMS / Editor-in-Chief
Let us not continue to cheapen the suffering of the victims of mass shootings by pretending there is nothing we can do about this epidemic, because there is. Having stricter, more universal background checks as ways to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, people on the no-fly list, people on the FBI watch list, and people with dangerous mental illnesses. In addition, to make this crystal clear, this is not just about gun control. There are multiple factors to contribute to this problem that need to change.
The Las Vegas shooter had 47 firearms from three locations, piles of ammunition, and devices that converted assault rifles. Did I mention he obtained all of them legally?
So essentially, if someone wants to build up a collection of rifles the way the Las Vegas shooter did, they could do so without breaking a sweat, so I don’t understand why some people refuse to see this as a problem.
In this country, most gun sales are by federally licensed vendors who must demand background checks for anyone who walks through their door. However, those databases are not always perfect, relying on spotty reporting from the states. The Las Vegas shooter passed the background check, and there were “no signs” but yet he obtained a suspicious amount of guns in a short period of time and that didn’t raise any red flags.
After the Parkland shooting, the President stated the solution is for teachers to be in the possession of a gun. “To stop a bad guy with a gun, it takes a good guy with a gun,” Wayne LaPierre from the NRA stated and was later repeated by our President. In their opinion, a good guy with a gun would have saved those students in Parkland when Nikolas Cruz went on a shooting spree before abandoning his AR-15 rifle and walking out of the building in an effort to blend in with evacuating students. Here’s the problem: there was a good guy with a gun that day. Resource Deputy Scott Peterson was armed on school campus when the shooting started, yet didn’t lift a finger to save those kids. So much for having the “good guy with the gun.” While the Maryland officer stopped the shooter, we can see from Parkland that not everyone is as courageous.
All in all, the President needs a new agenda. Might I suggest the following: enforce the rules already on the books, a better mental health system, more thorough background checks, stronger evaluations before distributing federal licenses to vendors, the extinction of bump stocks and trigger tanks. And not the banishment of all guns but assault weapons. This way, the second amendment is still intact, and citizens can still protect their property and well-being without having an AK-47 lying around the house.
President Trump and Congress, it’s time for you to keep those promises to the kids and the parents of the Parkland massacre and actually take action into keeping them safe. You need to rein in these endless nightmares. It’s time to stop playing games. It’s time to do something. Our children’s lives depend on it. America is waiting on you.by