By Chris Ware
On October 1, 2015, a 20 year old lone gunman walked through the doors of Umpqua Community College and opened fire. Preliminary reports claim that 10 people were killed and 7 people were injured.
America has a gross obsession with guns and the irresponsible culture that our obsession with guns has bred.
Week after week, month after month, and year after year, we receive news that yet another gunman has taken the lives of innocent students, teachers and other people in an act of senseless violence.
In December of 2012, Adam Lanza indiscriminately mowed down 20 first graders and 6 adults at Sandy Hook elementary school.
In June of 2013, John Zawahri opened fired at Santa Monica College, killing a total of 7 people.
In October of 2014, Jaylen Fryberg opened fire in Marysville Pilchuck High School, injuring 5 of his classmates before turning the gun on himself.
These are just a few examples. According to the Washington Times there has been a staggering 142 school shootings since the Sandy Hook shooting.
With numbers this stunning, it is a mystery why elected representatives haven’t been more proactive with gun reform. After all, more Americans have been killed by gun violence compared to terrorism associated with Muslim extremists.
According to Vox, America averages about 10,000 gun deaths a year. 2,689 people were killed in the September 11th attacks, only a fraction of the 11,000+ killed every year due to gun violence.
Our Congress is being stonewalled by a group of politicians who have been bought by campaign contributions. Take John McCain for example. According to PolicyMic, the going price for his conscience is $500,000.
The NRA has contributed this amount over McCain’s span of his political career, and in return, he votes to keep guns as accessible as possible for all Americans, regardless of mental state, among other important factors.
Soon-to-be ex Speaker of the House John Boehner’s selling price was only a fraction of McCain’s, which is $100,000. In return, he rallies the Republican caucus against any form of common-sense legislation to keep guns out of the hands of the wrong people.
Money in politics has allowed our politicians to turn a blind eye to these shootings, and yet they continue to get re-elected.
Defenders of the NRA might argue that politicizing this shooting is wrong. But I believe President Obama was correct when he stated this issue of gun violence on our school campuses concerns the well-being of the body politic, and the issue needs to be politicized in order to bring about effective change.
So what’s wrong with us?
I believe we’ve become de-sensitized to these shootings due to the sheer volume of their occurrences.
We have failed to act responsibly shooting after shooting, just to protect the ideal of the 2nd Amendment. But times like these require us to be practical.
Every day that passes without us taking proper steps to address gun violence will leave our politicians and ultimately ourselves with more blood on our hands.
Personally, I have been unapologetically pro-2nd amendment for a while. I believe that bad people will get guns whether there are laws prohibiting them from doing so or not.
But, I totally agree with President Obama on the notion that there should be some type of criteria to buy a gun. Because, after all, aren’t our lives worth it?
We all deserve to grow up and go to school. We all deserve to live long enough to make a lasting impression on this world. Let’s do what needs to be done to save future lives from violence like this. I know I’ve grown tired of the senselessness, hopefully many of you all have too.