Gun Control From An American Abroad

On the morning of February 14th, 2018, I woke up early. Despite it being a Wednesday, and despite it being Valentine’s Day and me still being perpetually single, I had a feeling that the day wouldn’t be as awful as I thought it would.

By 4 pm that afternoon, I was shocked to my core when my CNN notifications went off, blaring about a mass school shooting down in Florida. Horrified, my friends and I huddled around my computer, watching as helicopters surveyed the scene and reporters shared the news. I watched as students clung to their parents and friends, tear-streaked faces bravely facing the cameras to talk about their terrifying experiences.Since then, every time I’ve run into a non-American, they’ve asked me about the shooting. “What is being done about this?” and “Why doesn’t your country have gun control?” are questions I can’t answer. All I know is that to the rest of the world, Americans are synonymous with guns.

But I think that it’s time that pairing is put to rest.

To non-Americans, the issue of gun control makes no sense. And now, after seventeen more innocent lives have been lost, it should really make one side clear: gun control needs to be implemented.

Australia had one mass shooting in 1996, and immediately instigated gun control legislation. Since then, they’ve had NO mass shootings. Since 2010, we have had about 42 mass shootings in America, the deadliest in our nation's history occurring in the last couple of years.

This has got to stop, and for good.

I’m sorry, but if guns are harming people, there is no reason they shouldn’t be outlawed, or, at least, heavily restricted. I don’t care if you’re the patron saint of the entire freaking universe— if you have a gun, it is time to turn it in. The Second Amendment was created by the Founding Fathers with the intention of using weaponry to protect civilians from foreign enemies, not civilians from civilians.

Gun control is something we desperately need. This shouldn’t even be an issue. Guns hurt people, plain and simple. Seventeen innocent lives were lost, both children and adults. Those who survived don’t want your thoughts and prayers; they want change, and rightfully deserve it.

Give them their dues.