Opinion: We Cannot Wait for Another Mass Shooting to Happen

Every time a mass shooting happens, society always says that we cannot wait for another mass shooting happen in order to change something. We keep repeating the same rhetoric over and over again, but then we never do anything. How many lives will be sacrificed until we change our ways as a society?

On Sunday, Stephen Paddock fired a barrage of bullets from the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay into a crowd attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival. After, he committed suicide, reports the New York Times. While his motives at the time of writing this are still unknown, he committed an act of domestic terrorism — and there's no if, ands, or buts about it.

Mass shootings are becoming commonplace in our country, to the point where it’s even being called an “American pastime." We need to stop being complacent and actually make change. I believe the change we need to make is with gun control.

America’s gun control laws are one of the laxest of first-world countries. Countries like Japan have close to a zero-tolerance policy on guns, and other countries like South Africa requires a competency test in order for someone to own a gun. In America, less than 1 percent of requests to buy a gun are denied. When you try to buy a gun here, they basically see if you've committed a crime, have been committed to a psych ward or are on drugs. If you can clear those, then you’re practically set. We have to change this.

Other countries that have stricter gun laws have lower rates of gun related violence than America. Our nation always places America on a pedestal saying that we’re absolutely safe and we have everything under control, but that is hurting us. Our nation is getting used to a fear state because of guns and we have to change that.

In my opinion, we need stricter gun laws. It doesn’t make sense for an average person to own a high-powered assault rifle. The only place for that should be in a military setting, with trained professionals and a necessary environment, or if you need a shotgun for hunting. It’s ridiculous that you can buy these military grade weapons at Walmart. Guns should not be such a commonplace thing.

Our society has normalized violence because it has been ingrained in us. Our society seems to think that the only solution to problems is violence. We have to learn how to make violence abnormal. We have to find a way to cope with our problems without violence. It cannot be our only resolution, otherwise more acts of terrorism like the Las Vegas shooting.

Yes. The shooting at Las Vegas is an act of terrorism. His intent was clear by what he did: he wanted to strike fear with his guns. White people are capable of terrorism. Terrorism isn’t always in the Middle East. It can happen here.

Another thing: The profile frames on Facebook and the words about the tragedy are great because they increase awareness, but they are meaningless in the longrun unless something of substance is actually done. Unless we do something, the lives that are lost in these tragedies will be in vain. If we don’t do anything, we will become voiceless sheep in society that will be okay with tragedies.

We need to make change happen. Inaction is what will destroy us.

Call your senator. Call your governor. Support anti-gun movements. Attend a protest. Support a protest. Do something to help change the laws.

Learn how to react without violence. Teach our youth that guns should not be commonplace. Change the way we think. Realize that we are susceptible to terrorism in our own country and anybody, no matter their skin color, can be a terrorist.

We cannot let this become a pastime.

We cannot wait for another mass shooting to happen.