The second amendment to the Constitution that was drafted in 1791, states that United States citizens have the right to bear arms. Since then, one thing has been updated: the guns. In 1791 Americans weren’t armed with AR-15 which is the civilian’s version of the M-16. Why would anyone need a “civilian version” of a weapon of mass destruction? This is also the gun most used in mass shootings (Vegas, Sandy Hook, Parkland and the list goes on and on.) They can usually hold up to 30 rounds of ammunition and can be easily tampered with for more power. This is an assault rifle that the NRA backs and proudly trains people to use.
Your right to own a gun shouldn’t outweigh the million of children’s lives that are at stake every single time they step into school. It shouldn’t outweigh concert-goers or movie-goers lives either. A heroic football coach shouldn’t have to step in front of a kid from shooting other kids. This shouldn’t be happening. In fact, it isn’t happening anywhere else in the world.
However, are policies and change going to happen in the US if politicians are backed by the NRA with their heavy contributions? No. In the 2016 election, the NRA spent $11,438,118 to support Donald Trump and gave $19,757,346 to oppose Hillary Clinton. That’s over $31 million spent by the NRA on one presidential race. However, they don’t just hand out their money to Presidents, but Senators and Representatives as well. The people leading us aren’t about to throw away the obscene amount of money that the NRA is giving them to change gun laws anytime soon.
I want to feel safe. I don’t want to have to check for exits in every room I walk into. I don’t want to ever have to text my parents and tell them that I love them because I don’t know if I’ll ever see them again. In the world we leave in, no scratch that, in the country we live in, I don’t have a choice. Neither did the 150,000 American students who have experienced a school shooting first hand.
The latest mass school shooting (I shouldn’t even have to type this) has claimed 17 lives and is causing quite the uproar. Students, teachers, family members, and pretty much everyone else who doesn’t own a gun is demanding change. All you need to do to confirm this is to log onto Twitter.
Many in the Right Wing are saying that their prayers and thoughts are with the victims and their families, that we must give them time to grieve, that now isn’t the time to talk about this. When is the time to talk about this? When more innocent children are dead?
Since the year 2000, there have been 188 school shootings in America. Want an even bigger number? There have been 1606 mass shootings in American since Sandy Hook. That’s in less than 6 years. That is about one every other day. Let’s do that math. Let’s say that it has been 6 full years to the date. That is 365 days times five (we need to account for leap year) which is 1,825. Now, add the leap year (366 days) making a grand total of 2,191 days since Sandy Hook (but we are rounding up). Now, divide the number of days by the number of mass shootings. Wow, that’s less than one every other day (1.36). America doesn’t lead in much, but we sure do lead in our tolerance for mass shootings.
We should feel safe on school grounds. I shouldn’t be worrying if I’m going to be in the next school shooting. The next. There shouldn’t be a next. There shouldn’t have been a first. There shouldn’t ever have been a second. Or a third. Or Parkland. Something needs to change.
The moment Congress decided that they weren’t going to change gun laws after Columbine, they said that they don’t care if daughters, sons, sisters, brothers, friends, etc. are gunned down while trying to go to school. After Sandy Hook, Congress let the world know that they are fine with innocent elementary school children being brutally murdered. When are they going to do something? When are we going to feel safe again?