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One Year Ago, Tragedy Struck: Why We Need Stronger Gun Laws

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One Year Ago, Tragedy Struck: Why We Need Stronger Gun Laws

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One year ago, on February 14th, 2018, the Parkland Shooting shook the nation.

17 people died in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Florida, and an additional 17 were injured.

34 students and staff members. 34 friends, siblings, parents, and children.

And yet, very little has changed.

Since the killing spree started at the University of Texas in 1966, the carnage in schools has continued.

 

And it’s not getting better.

 

Shootings continue to happen, the Columbine shooting in 1999, the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012. The numbers are adding up, and fast.

Other countries don’t support this kind of violence against their children. The United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, and Japan have all implemented stricter gun laws, and their gun violence has plummeted.

 

So why don’t American politicians advocate gun control laws?

 

The National Rifle Association (NRA), an anti-gun control organization, helps fund political campaigns for politicians that continuously try to strike down gun control laws, politicians like Richard Burr, a Republican Senator from North Carolina.

 

One politician who has actively advocated and worked against gun control is President Donald Trump. In April of 2017, he told the NRA that “the eight-year assault on your Second Amendment freedoms has come to a crashing end,” and that they “have a true friend and champion in the White House.”

Why is the president of the United States making it easier for people to get these dangerous weapons? He even undid a regulation in 2017, placed by former President Barack Obama, that would make it harder for mentally ill people to purchase guns.

 

The regulation would have required the Social Security Administration to disclose information quarterly to the national gun background check system about certain people with mental illness. Specifically, those that were receiving full disability benefits because of mental illness and couldn’t work, and those that were unable to manage their own benefits, thus needing the help of a third party to do so.

Trump and many Republican politicians are so pro-Second Amendment that they shoot down every law related to firearms that tries to keep citizens safe in the name of protecting people’s right to own a weapon.

There is no issue with people who legally own guns and use them for the right reasons, but the problem comes when people gain them legally and proceed to use them to murder innocent people.

Gun regulation laws need to be put in place to keep these people from obtaining these weapons quickly and legally. Laws that make better background checks mandatory, increase the age a person has to be to purchase a gun, and require a permit, and training to handle a gun – similar to the process of getting a driver’s license – would help exponentially to help decrease gun violence.

 

If it makes it a bit harder for law-abiding citizens to get guns, so what?

Is it really worth the lives of those seventeen victims of the Parkland shooting, and every shooting that has followed, that you get a gun quickly without any barriers?

 

Things are getting a little bit better though. Bill HR8, which will strengthen background checks, has been introduced to the House. More young people are voting, estimates place 31% of people 18-29 voted in the 2018 midterms compared to the 21% in 2014; that’s a big step up. Locally, Fort Thomas now has a March for Our Lives chapter, a student-led organization dedicated to advocating for stricter gun violence prevention measures.

 

However, while things are getting better, we still have a long road ahead of us.

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3 Comments

3 Responses to “One Year Ago, Tragedy Struck: Why We Need Stronger Gun Laws”

  1. sally sue on February 15th, 2019 1:22 pm

    Drugs are illegal…people get drugs.
    How would this be different with guns???

  2. Kenny on February 18th, 2019 5:21 pm

    Thank you Kaitlyn for this article. We have witnessed tragic shootings and violence on a consistent basis, but we have not seen too much movement from Congress to implement legislation in enforcing more stronger and stricter gun control measure. From the 2012 tragedy at Sandy Hook in Conn, President Barack Obama had (once again) addressed implementing stronger gun control laws. You would think that stronger gun control measures would be met with bi-partisan approval, since we (both parties) witness the tragedies. However, most Republicans resist taking gun control measure too far. Why? Unfortunately, it’s seems influence is one of the problem where it distorts their priorities. NRA is a big influence, where their financial and physical support of most Republicans and their campaigns influences the Republicans to offset anything that the NRA opposes. A big example is after NRA had publicly opposed President Trump’s agenda in raising the legal age of individuals permitted to have guns from 18 to 21, President Trump had backed away and it wasn’t proposed again. Is the power and influence and rating of the NRA more important than proposing a legislation that can be effective in minimizing gun violence? Second is the fear of compromising or weakening the 2nd Amendment as Republicans feel gun control measures will minimize their 2nd Amendment rights. Gun Control Measure is intended ensure stronger background checks for individuals of concern and keep guns out of the hands to people who are not legally intended to have it. The gun control measure is to create a tighter scrutiny on ensuring guns do not fall in the wrong hands. If you are legally permitted to have one and your intent is not for harm or violent purposes, then how is that infringing on your 2nd Amendment right? It’s not because you won’t be affected if gun control measures was to be enacted. But saving the lives of our students, our kids, individuals shouldn’t be compromised. Let’s stop concentrating on other nations, and let’s focus on what’s going on in our own country and what’s being done to people in our country by the people in our own country. Lastly, it was very disappointing in what President Trump did in undoing a regulation measure making it harder for mentally ill individuals to purchase guns. I think that was a sound regulation law and I believe that should have been maintained. Thank you so much for your article.

  3. Sarah Cayton on February 19th, 2019 9:54 am

    Sally Sue put your real name on your opinions or else they have no credibility. This isn’t the Federalist Papers hunty!!!

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




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One Year Ago, Tragedy Struck: Why We Need Stronger Gun Laws