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Why Gun Reform Is A Feminist Issue

On October 1, 2017 at least one unknown shooter opened fire into a crowd of country music fans listening to Jason Aldean, resulting in at least 50 deaths and over 500 injured. Videos showing the terrified crowd screaming and running for safety as bullets spewed from the sky quickly leaked all over social media, leaving no warning for users who hadn’t even heard the news yet. The Las Vegas shooting is the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history, although that’s been updated three times in the past 10 years (Virginia Tech & Orlando Pulse massacre previously held the titles).

Response from the media has been as expected: politicians and journalists alike have been talking about “praying for Vegas” and sending love to families involved in this “senseless tragedy.” Of course ‘President’ Trump released a statement saying, “In times such as these, I know we are searching for some kind of meaning in the chaos; some kind of light in the darkness. The answers do not come easy. But we can take solace knowing that even the darkest space can be brightened by a single light, and even the most terrible despair can be illuminated by a single ray of hope.” Frankly, I think that statement is bullshit. I don’t think it’ll be too hard to find answers, since it seems like other countries have figured out a solution easily enough. In fact, Australia imposed strict laws against guns after a massacre killing 35 people in 1996; there have been no mass shootings since.

So why is gun reform a feminist issue? Because it affects women and other minority groups that are targeted by gun violence. Just look at the Isla Vista Massacre in 2014, where the shooter Elliot Rodger murdered 6 people after plotting the attack for over year. He wrote a manifesto blaming women for not being interested in him and posted terrifying videos on Youtube talking about the revenge he would enact on “females.” Also, guns usually have a huge part in dating violence.  In fact, over 53% of women killed with firearms were murdered by intimate partners or family members according to US Department of Justice. The list of statistics against people of color (more specifically women of color and queer people of color) can go on and on. It’s obvious that queer people are being targeted, especially after the Pulse Nightclub Massacre in Orlando, Florida (many of whom were QPOC). In fact, transgender people of color face the most violence out of the entire LGBTQ+ community.

This problem isn’t just going to go away on its own. I think by now we, as a country, have seen the repercussions of an amendment created to protect gun rights when it could only expel one shot before being reloaded. I don’t have all the answers, mostly because I’m a 21 year old college student, but didn’t we elect officials for this? What is our government here for if it’s not for “the people”? Oh, right. Taking money from the NRA.


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Kylie Walker is a senior at Sonoma State University studying creative writing & women's and gender studies. She balances school with napping as much as she posssibly can. She enjoys petting animals and radical feminist theory. She sometimes writes about things other than politics or feminism, but rarely.
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