Continuing tragedies highlight a need for change

In the wake of another tragedy, our nation’s president had nothing new to say. During his response to the Umpqua Community College shooting on Thursday of last week, President Obama seemed to be venting to the public. He was sad, somber, and seemed distressed, as I feel most of us were as we heard about the events that unfolded at the tiny college, in the seemingly quaint community of Roseburg, Oregon.

He spoke about the potential all of these young victims had—he spoke about their families, and their heartache and grief. The families of these victims never get to see them smile again. They never get to see them graduate from college. They never get to see them get married, get a great new job, or travel the world. The victims never get to experience life as they should have. And this is all because a mentally unstable person with access to numerous firearms ripped their lives and futures from them.

I think that our President feels even more helpless than he did before this tragedy, because he has tried and tried again to convince Congress to pass new firearm control laws, to no avail. He has had to give speech after speech following each different massacre, with no change coming from his efforts.

Obama said Thursday, “Our thoughts and prayers are not enough…” And I think he is right. What good do we actually do just by feeling bad for these people? If we really want to help the families of these victims and prevent further incidents, we have to take action. Our thoughts and prayers won’t stop the next mentally ill individual from walking into a supermarket with an AK-47 and shooting 20 people because he or she is having a mental breakdown.

These shootings should not be routine. There should not just be a feeling of “oh crap another school shooting, maybe we should do something.” We should actually try to figure out what sort of solution will actually help our country prevent these disasters. 

“Somehow this has become routine; the reporting is routine. My response here at this podium ends up being routine, the conversation in the aftermath…we have become numb to this,” Obama said Thursday.

He should not be able to say that. As a country, we owe ourselves more than letting a mass shooting become routine. This “routine” only ends in more people senselessly dying.

We have to break the routine and the only way to do this is to fix the restrictions we have in place for buying firearms. We need to revise the laws that are obviously not working and solve this problem like many other first world countries have already.

It isn’t the responsible law-abiding gun owners that are the problem, it’s not the people who want no guns out there that are the problem; it’s the screening process before people acquire a firearm that is really the problem. So, next time you vote “no” on stricter gun laws, think about a person walking into your loved one’s place of work, or their school, or their favorite hangout and shooting randomly with the intent to kill as many people as possible.

Like I stated, it’s not the law-abiding gun owners that I have a problem with, it’s the people who can pass the process to get a firearm who should not be allowed to have them that I am scared of.

I am a supporter of guns and I am also a supporter of people who own guns. I just believe that we are not doing enough to keep guns out of the hands of those who intend to do harm with the deadly objects.

I do not want gun rights to be revoked in America, because I support the second amendment. However, in order to keep tragedy after tragedy from happening, something must be done.

In an effort to preserve the integrity of the second amendment, I believe that something as simple as a more rigorous screening process is a step in the right direction to stop the massacres from snowballing even further.

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