On Wednesday once again, the world woke up from its slumber to protest gun control and related violence in the United States when a 19 year old walked into the school he was expelled from and opened fire on students and teachers alike with an AR-15 rifle and multiple magazines killing 17 and injuring multiple others before being captured.
The tragedy is quotes to have been “the eight deadliest mass shooting in contemporary US history” and is one of at least eight shootings in schools in 2018 alone. I personally don’t know what is more chilling that it can be quoted to be one of the worst, or that schools are apparently used to this violence.
To understand this problem, one has to first understand why gun control in America is still an issue. Gun control is one of the most divisive issues in American politics, with each new mass shooting the antagonism between both sides grows. Their arguments are simple, those against it fear for their safety in a country where people have free access to guns, while those for it, fear loss safety stating they will be left unable to defend themselves should a situation arises.
The legal basis for firearm possession in the US is enshrined in the Second Amendment of the Constitution- “right of the people to keep and bear arms”. This means that their possession cannot be outlawed unless one changes the very constitution of the country, something which is near, nay impossible. The “remedy” to this problem according to the leadership of this great nation, is to screen who can buy and sell guns. Some of their “measures” include not selling guns or ammunitions to people below the age of 18- 21 for some specific armaments. Not selling to fugitives, the mentally unstable or people with prior felony records. Dealers themselves must own a Federal Firearm License and be a minimum of 21 year of age.
Looking at these restrictions, one wonders, how do perpetrators of mass shootings or any shooting for that matter get their hands on military grade armaments. The answer is stupid in its simplicity – no one does the due diligence to run through background checks and the black market is rampant with unlisted guns.
Leaving one to ask, “why do the politicians dither to change the laws?” the counter unfortunately is selfish and downright cold. The united states greatest revenue is from the manufacture and sale of arms, they sold close to $10 billion worth of military vehicles and weapons systems to foreign governments in the last year, surpassing Russia and China. They arm the world at the cost of innocents.
Thoughts and prayers to the families of these tragedies are not enough. This violence happens nowhere else, highlighting that there is a clear correlation between the lax gun control regulations and these shootings, it is no coincidence or twist of fate, but because of the consequences of inaction, of relinquishing responsibility and of turning a blind eye to an obvious problem.