“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution provides these rights to every citizen in the nation. Quite notably during this 21st century, this secured liberty has turned into a nationwide debate on gun violence.
I want to pull your focus onto these words – “the right of the people” – and I want you to think hard on why these words create a direct link to the tragic stories of multiple deaths in the nation. There is but one answer: the American right to bear arms has morphed into the monstrous and disfigured faces of killers. Killers, who have taken away the lives of many innocent people by misusing this right.
The recent shooting at a community college in Oregon on Oct. 1 left ten dead and seven injured. The gunman had body armor, multiple handguns and a semiautomatic rifle. The way in which he obtained those weapons and decided to open fire is mostly a product of the inaction by politicians, ineffective laws and an unhealthy mentality. Tragedy strikes and we focus on the victims and killers to get the full story, but I choose not to disclose his name because he doesn’t deserve this right. The victims deserve respect.
According to the website Mass Shooting Tracker, there have been 116 mass shootings in 2014 and 74 school killings since the tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. in 2012. According to this website there have been almost 300 mass shootings (which they define as when four or more people are shot in an event) so far in 2015, and while it seems that we as a society are mourning and frightened, we are simultaneously slowly accepting a fatalistic attitude.
Unfortunately, since the shootings in Aurora, Colo., Newtown, Conn., Charleston, S.C. and many other places, mass shootings have become the “norm” in the nation.
There is no longer the same outrage. I, like millions of people, am upset and horrified when I hear about a mass shooting. But, I also think: “Another shooting?” in a nonchalant way. The sad part is that day after day, the horrible murders are forgotten until another one occurs.
Media outlets have discussed the tragedies, average Americans have mourned the innocent deaths and politicians have openly expressed disgust and sorrow. Additionally, the justifiably hyped national issue has elicited strong opinions, but it appears that a unified decision has not been made to deal with what has become our reality. What are our representative government elected politicians doing about the matter? Close. To. Nothing.
There are many possible approaches to diminishing the threat of mass shootings. Congress could create a select committee on gun violence. Or it could move ahead with strengthening gun laws and regulations, enhancing background checks, improving school security, and advancing mental health care.
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden tried to get an initiative passed in 2013 by the U.S. Senate that would call for legislative action to keep guns out of the wrong hands, make schools
safer and increase access to mental health services, according to The White House website. They tried and failed because of political disagreements. So yet again, the idea of security and unity has been weakened.
I have yet to hear a uniform call to action and this is extremely disappointing. When will it stop being about debating how far will the people allow the government to take control of their lives, but about how to enact measures to protect this nation’s people?
I started the article talking about our right to bear arms because while this liberty IS definite, the nation and especially politicians’ actions to enact legislations to prevent innocent people from getting killed by the misuse of guns is NOT. There needs to be change.
Nisha Desai is a junior journalism major from Woodland Park, NJ. She can be reached at email@example.com