Gahanna Lion's Roar

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Opinion: Mass Shootings and Societal Norms

November 20, 2017

     In the past two months, 85 Americans have been killed in a mass shooting.

     On October 1st, 59 innocent concertgoers lost their lives when a man opened fire upon the crowd of nearly two thousand people. The Las Vegas shooting soon became the deadliest shooting to ever occur in American history, surpassing the Orlando nightclub shooting in June of 2016. Just a little over a month later, 26 more Americans were killed in a church shooting in Texas on November 5th, 2017.

     These shootings are causing panic, as expected within the American community, seeing as how they seem to be occurring more frequently. The other day I was looking through my twitter feed when I came across an article published by CNN about a new backpack that was being sold for kids. The backpack has a bullet proof shield built-in to protect students. When I saw this, I was horrified, and I could not believe that as a society we had gotten to the point where we needed to furnish our children with bullet proof accessories. What does this mean for the American society?

     Many politicians are trying to solve this unsolvable problem. Some say tighter gun control is the answer, others say that stronger background checks are needed, and still others are extremely wary that the second amendment will be infringed upon. Most everyone can agree, however, that something needs to be done. On the political side of the spectrum, the Democrats seem to be primarily pushing the tighter gun laws and background checks, but not all Republicans are against the idea. Many moderates are becoming more open to expanding background checks, as long as they are not infringing upon the second amendment.

     The second amendment gives every citizen of the United States the legal right to own a gun. However, after the recent atrocities, more questions are being raised about how these mentally unstable shooters are purchasing guns.

The black market seems to be a reoccurring answer to this question. Many guns are circulated through the market and private sellers. When purchasing guns through either of those two systems, background checks are typically completely disregarded.

     Unfortunately, background checks do not always make a difference. For example, the Las Vegas shooter passed his background checks, proving that more intensive background checks may not solve the problem.

     I have been trying to think of what could solve this complicated issue, and thus far have not come up with anything. With the number of people being killed by guns in America rising every day, it is imperative that something is done to help reduce the number of casualties. Yet, no perfect solution seems to exist. Therefore, perhaps the best thing for the citizens of this country to do in this present moment is to try and come together. Even if you do not have a direct relation to any of the victims in the recent shootings, everyone is still connected to those lost lives. We are all related because we are all Americans. That identity alone binds us together and should unite us as a people. Let us not allow these destructive acts divide us, but bring us closer, and show the world that we are taking initiative and are trying to help mass public shootings not become a norm in society.

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