The Harbinger Online

Gunning for a Change

I didn’t even flinch. The headline read “49 people dead and 53 injured.” I nonchalantly scrolled past it. Then I suddenly thought to myself: When did innocent people being shot become normal?

mygraphicIn the aftermath of a horrific slaughter at a gay nightclub in Orlando, the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, our nation mourned the losses of the lives that were taken that day. But have we mourned every single one of the 272 mass shootings this year?

We send our thoughts and prayers. We promise change and justice. We move on without a second thought. And here the United States stands, with nearly 13,000 people dead so far this year from gun violence. Yet, Congress has still not passed any piece of legislation to regulate guns.

When guns are killing more people under the age of 26 than car accidents, I think it’s about time we changed number two on the amendments list.

There is a phrase the NRA likes to throw around: “The only way to kill a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”

Some conservatives will rightfully argue that guns are necessary for self-defense. What they refuse to recognize is that only 1,202 of the nearly 40,000 incidents of gun violence have been for self defense, according to Gun Violence Archive.

The Second Amendment was put into our Bill of Rights when it took two minutes to reload a gun – not when guns could fire 100 rounds in one minute. The bill was put in place to defend against a tyrannical government; it had nothing to do with the ability to kill our own innocent citizens. So today, when that’s what a majority of all guns are being used for, who in their right mind could argue that we are using our guns in the way they were intended?

Every time a shooting occurs, millions of people begin to call for stricter gun laws. Meanwhile, conservatives argue for keeping the Second Amendment by posting pictures to social media while holding their guns, saying that hunting is a “family tradition” and they “need them for self defense.”

Well, congratulations pro-gun activists, your glorifications of your guns are the exact reasons mentally unstable people get their hands on firearms. Oh… please note I said “get their hands on” and not “purchase.”

For example, the teenage shooters of Columbine High School, nearly 17 years ago, illegally obtained two shotguns and one semi-automatic handgun. After joining a club online that called themselves “Stray Bullets,” they contacted someone who was of-age to purchase the guns used in the shooting. Prior to this, they both had criminal records and had received psychiatric treatment.

And by the way conservatives, owning guns doesn’t kill the ideologies of people who want to use them in the wrong ways. It feeds them.

The Brady Bill, signed into law by President Bill Clinton, is the bill that implemented background checks potential gun owners must go through before being allowed to purchase a firearm. Yet felons are able to buy firearms online or at gun shows with “no questions asked.” They simply have someone who could pass a background check buy guns for them, which is exactly my point: If we can’t control who’s behind the trigger, we shouldn’t have them in the first place.

Granted, if the amendment were to be abolished, guns would still be out there. Guns will still be obtainable through the black market by the wrong people. It’s inevitable. But right now we have the power to stop what’s in our control: The Second Amendment. We need to be thinking about the future of our country – for our younger siblings, future children and grandchildren.

Think about it. At the rate mass shootings have been increasing, it is likely that in the future metal detectors will greet you at every door.

We see shootings on the TV every day, yet there are still stubborn conservatives who argue that guns are necessary; that they are what make us such a great, invincible country. We are nowhere near invincible anymore. Children are dead. Friends, sons, daughters, boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands and wives are dead because you believe you need an assault rifle for self defense.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate guns. Guns don’t kill people – people kill people.

As a nation, we should be embarrassed that we have not yet given justice to those who have lost loved ones. I know I am.

If you disagree with me, check the time. In the next five minutes, someone will be killed by a gunshot. After those five minutes have passed, explain to me your reasoning for keeping the Second Amendment in effect.

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