Words are our weapons

The growing numbers in gun violence indicate that our country needs to take steps towards building a safer nation for ourselves and our families


Photo by Slowking4 via Creative Commons

Gun control advocates of all ages march down D.C. in hope for better gun control laws

Stuti Gupta, Staff Writer

There are only 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week, 4 weeks in a month, and 365 days in a year; and yet, we have already had 307 mass shootings in 2018 alone. To break it down, more than 30,000 people die due to gun violence every year in the US, there have been 50,238 incidents involving gun violence, and 47 children and teens are killed by guns every day. However, these numbers are not enough to convince our world it is time for a change, so it is time we become the change our world needs.

The question arises, why do we feel the need to buy guns? The answer is fear, and fear spreads. Some want to defend themselves, or protect themselves and their families, so they turn to guns. These people conceptualize themselves as ‘the good guys’ for wanting to protect their loved ones. Nevertheless, this is not enough to make up for the numerous people who die every day because of it.

February 14th, Parkland, Florida. July 26th, Dallas, Texas. October 27th, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. November 7th, Thousand Oaks, California. These are just a few of the countless mass shootings that have taken place in the US in 2018. Arguably, one of the greatest mass shootings to have occured in the US happened on February 14th, 2018, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida where 17 children were shot. Strip away the number, and you see that bare word, children. These children had a family and friends, and had a long life ahead of them. It is time we started treating them as something other than casualties.

Some may argue that it is people that kill people, not guns. While that may be true on some level, it is the people with the intent to harm others that have access to guns, and most shooters in recent mass shootings have used a legalized gun. There are currently zero states in the US that prevent anyone from possessing a firearm outside of business to use for personal protection. We need stricter gun ownership laws, and laws without loopholes. It is true that the constitution grants us the right to bear arms, but everything has a limit; it grants us the freedom to practice religion, but not if the religion involves sacrificing people. It is also true that there are countries that have implemented stricter gun laws resulting in a lower violence rate than the US, but we also should not compare with countries that have completely different atmospheres and governments.

Not everything will change from this, and I do not expect it to, but it is a start. These laws may not prevent all who wish to obtain a gun from getting a gun, but it will make it much harder. It is true that most people who legally have guns abide by the law, but there is also a large group of those who do not, bringing a huge risk to the table.

While it may take some time to change these laws, the best thing we can do now is stand together as a whole, all religions, races, and genders, and make it known to our government that things need to change. As students, we should not be living in constant fear of what happened in Parkland and countless other places. We should not have to think that the lockdown drills we practice so periodically are common in so many places around the world, and that they may be real for us one day. It is time for us to speak out, speak up, and be invincible, not invisible.