This article is one of the hardest pieces I have ever had to write. Not because the facts aren’t there, but because random acts of violence have impacted too many in this country. This retweet by Katie Levans this past week is what fueled this article. It shocked me and made me realize that I should write this piece.
Photo Credit: Twitter
The day of the year alone shows us the magnitude of violence that has hit America. At that point, it had been Day 312, and there had been 304 mass shootings in our nation. Many articles have gone into depth as to WHY the shooter did it or WHO he was, but there hasn’t been much coverage as to the full impact of this on our nation as a whole.
So I wanted to break it down a little further to explain the implications of such an intense issue. For too long, political perspectives stopped us from breaking down core issues, so let’s take a step back and understand before our country becomes the epicenter of violence.
Domestically, the growing number of mass shootings in America resulted in much controversy over gun control and sparked a new movement filled with hatred and frustration at the government.
Gun control will remain one of the most polarizing issues in America until the end of time, as far as I can tell. So, I’m not going to rant to you about the benefits and harms of increased gun control. What I am going to say to you is the facts surrounding gun laws in America.
The United States ranks #1 in deaths from gun violence compared to the Middle East and South Africa, some of the most war-torn nations currently, according to an Institute for Health Metric and Evaluation Survey did this year.
Photo Credit: University of Washington’s Institute of Health Metric and Evaluation
As of 2018, gun-related deaths are on the rise in the United States after a decade-long decline, according to a newly released Center For Disease Control and Prevention report.
The most common statistic is the number of gun violence events that have occurred this year alone: 308 mass shootings in 2018. The Thousand Oaks Shooting marks the 308th mass shooting this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive, a non-profit that tracks gun violence in the United States.
Those are the numbers. They have no bias, no rhetoric, and no propaganda. With these numbers in mind, there is no denying that America has a gun problem. The fact that we have had almost as many mass shootings as days this year is preposterous, yet there has been no solution.
These numbers resulted in activists and celebrities everywhere advocating for gun control. This isn’t because these mass shootings work in favor of a Democratic agenda or a liberal mindset. Rather, it is because we have no other hope or solution.
Videos of families who lost someone in a random act of violence have surfaced over the web. With news outlets, such as CNN, BBC, and Vox, publishing these videos and putting them on social media, the public can’t help but try to find a solution.
Photo Credit: Stars and Stripes, CNN, Study Breaks Magazine, LA Daily News,
Collage Credit: Kirthana Iyer
The news did what is supposed to do—get the public to be active.
The issue begins when the government hasn’t responded to the public. The public has received apologies from every sector of the government, yet no change has occurred. It has been apology after apology that our current president has made a sample of how to tweet about mass shootings, according to a Huffington Post article from last year.
When mass shootings have become so normalized that the president can’t even tell them apart, and mistakenly tweets about the wrong mass shooting, America has a problem that needs to be solved.
Apologies don’t cut it for those impacted. Help them, listen to them, and make a change. Parents of children in the Parkland shooting and the Santa Fe High School shooting, families of those who died in the Pittsburgh Shooting and in the Thousand Oaks shooting have been waiting too long.
Photo Credit: CBS, ABC News, Lakers Nation
Collage Credit: Kirthana Iyer
Their pain will never go away, and it’ll always leave a mark in America’s history books. These communities are mourning and waiting for a change. Every random act of violence is a constant reminder to these communities that there is no change. America is hurting, and it is going to keep hurting.
Gun control might be the most polarizing issue in America, but now gun violence has become the best way to describe America. So, it is time to talk about this issue. It is time to start making your newly elected Representatives speak about this issue that has been plaguing us for far too long. Advocate for a change so that America can finally change.