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More Must Be Done About Mass Shootings

This story originally appeared in our May 2023 print edition.

The United States of America: “Second to None,” even for mass shootings. Any person living in this country is no stranger to the rise in mass shootings in the past several years. Mass shootings in the U.S. have become so frequent that there have been more shootings in 2023 than there have been days. A lot of those days have also seen protests asking government officials for more laws and regulations regarding guns. Parents now are forced to live in fear of sending their children to school and teachers are overwhelmed by the responsibility of trying to keep children safe.

The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution gives Americans the right to bear arms. The original purpose of the amendment was to give U.S. citizens freedom and ability to protect themselves and their property. However, an uptick in mass shootings began in the 1990s, and ever since then, mass shootings have occurred more and more often as people continue to abuse Second Amendment protections. A large portion of this country’s population maintains a nearly religious devotion to the idea that gun ownership is a fundamental right that benefits society. Compared to other countries, many more U.S. citizens tend to distrust their government, and therefore more people own guns, which provides them a sense of freedom and security in such a turbulent environment.

A large fraction of people believe that the government and legislature should not cease the usage of guns, but instead go after the people who use them, not the weapons. After all, we already have laws against guns. We already have laws against murder. It’s illegal to shoot and kill a school full of elementary school children, yet that fact doesn’t stop people from doing it. Although America has more guns than people, the problem isn’t the guns—someone is always responsible for pulling the trigger. Taking away guns from people won’t stop violence from happening in America.

Although the solution should be to go after the shooter, not the weapon, the solution preferred by gun rights advocates is to make gun ownership even more permissible. According to this logic, more law-abiding citizens should be allowed and encouraged to carry guns and to take them everywhere, to serve as a deterrent to would-be mass shooters. People should take their guns to the movie theater. Teachers in elementary schools should be armed. Judges and lawyers should carry their guns with them in the courtroom. And, presumably, so should surgeons in the operating room.

The Biden Administration and other U.S. government officials passed gun laws last June, but 2022 still became one of the highest years for mass shootings on record. As we move into the future, we can only hope that the right changes are made to protect the people of this country.

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Lauren Dixon
Lauren Dixon, Staff Writer

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