I’ve wanted to post a post about gun violence on my blog for quite some time, but it feels more appropriate than ever following not only one but two shootings in Orlando, Florida. Before I get into my opinion and what I think should be done, I’m going to give some background on the two shootings at hand, as well as some general facts regarding gun violence and casualties.
The first shooting had two casualties; the shooter himself, and young “Voice” star Christina Grimmie. On June 11th, Grimmie was coming out of the venue where she had just performed a Friday night concert and was preparing to sign autographs and get pictures with fans before leaving, however, Kevin Loibl, the recently ID’d shooter, had other plans. According to Fox News and their interviews with Lobil’s friends and family, he not only live “like a hermit” but also was extremely obsessed with the young star. Without warning, he traveled from his home in another part of Florida to her Orlando show to meet the girl he regarded as “his soulmate.” And while they know he had the intentions of making her his girlfriend, we are still trying to uncover the solid reasoning for why he ended up killing her.
Only two days later, on the Sunday after Christina Grimmie’s death, a gay nightclub in the same city was shot up by an American-born gunman that had recently pledged allegiance to Isis. This shooting has been named the deadliest mass shooting in American history and the worst terror attack since 9/11. 49 people were killed on the spot with at least 53 wounded. Mateen’s motives as of right now seem to be outrage at the LGBT community (a prejudice and discomfort he’s had from a young age) and his allegiance to Isis.
However, the worst part of these shootings was the fact that it could’ve happened anywhere, anytime. By allowing guns in America with little amount of control laws, allows these people to get their hands on weapons that can harm any amount of innocent people. And while many try to advocate for the second right to bear arms, there are a couple things that I would like to point out.
Mentally stable people, gun or not, would be terrified at the thought of taking another person’s life no matter what they’ve done to them. To these people, guns are simply a safety precaution and would be used as they were in the old days of early America, to protect ourselves. These people would only use these guns as a last resort, the very very last resort in order to not live with the guilt of hurting or killing another human being. However, unstable, angry and sociopathic people can just as easily get their hands on these guns as well, and these people see their guns as the only way to solve conflicts and most likely wouldn’t hesitate to pull it out and use it even for minor incidents. For example, say you were driving on an expressway and you encounter someone with road rage and you happen to accidentally cut them off. Most people would honk at you, yell, maybe even go as far as getting out of their car to come yell or attempt to beat you up. Nowadays, however, it’s just as likely that that person has a gun in their car that they wouldn’t be hesitant to fire and your lane changing mistake just cost you your life. Some people may say that they should just do more background checks on the person they are selling the gun too. However, you can’t necessarily decide not to give a person a gun based on instinct because then people would claim that gun sales are biased and unfair and unequal even if you simply felt that way because they seemed to have a bit of a temper not because of their gender, race, religion etc. Therefore, to avoid these problems, it would be easier to simply create stricter gun control laws for everyone who has them or at least keep them from previous dangerous people such as criminals, people who have been arrested, and people on the Government watch list.
For example, say you were driving on an expressway and you encounter someone with road rage and you happen to accidentally cut them off. Most people would honk at you, yell, maybe even go as far as getting out of their car to come yell or attempt to beat you up. Nowadays, however, it’s just as likely that that person has a gun in their car that they wouldn’t be hesitant to fire and your lane changing mistake just cost you your life. Some people may say that they should just do more background checks on the person they are selling the gun too. However, you can’t necessarily decide not to give a person a gun based on instinct because then people would claim that gun sales are biased and unfair and unequal even if you simply felt that way because they seemed to have a bit of a temper not because of their gender, race, religion etc. Therefore, to avoid these problems, it would be easier to simply create stricter gun control laws for everyone who has them or at least keep them from previous dangerous people such as criminals, people who have been arrested, and people on the Government watch list.
When the amendment was made to allow us to have guns in our country, it was during a time where we lived under brutal conditions. Whether we were in the wilderness and had to defend ourselves from wild animals, or we were on a farm with no people for miles and miles around, we were our own justice system back then, and we would’ve never survived without defending ourselves. At this point in time, however, our city streets are packed with pedestrians and police and firemen and plenty of people that would be able to help you in case of emergency. Nowadays it isn’t necessarily about defending ourselves like it was then, it’s about killing people. In the news, we hear over and over again about shooting hate crimes, and people getting shot because they made the other person mad, or being shot just for looking suspicious to that person. Whether it be race, gender, religion or more, people use guns to express their opinions on others through killing them and making a point through that instead of taking a more peaceful route or using them solely for self-defense.
“It’s taking away our rights” In our country, we take a lot of pride in our freedom, of speech, of religion, etc. However, our right to bear arms may be a right for us, but all it does is take away the rights of other citizens. By giving us the right to bear arms in this day and age, you’re giving people the right to kill others, the right to your life being more important than another’s (whether it be because race, religion, or other identifying factors). And many of other countries have banned guns/really strict gun laws whilst still allowing their citizens other rights to individuality.
“If people want to find guns, they will get guns anyway.” First of all, no. Anyone can find anything they want if they want it bad enough, but they have to want it that much that they are willing to go through all of this just to find a gun. Except by selling guns everywhere, it makes those people along with all the impulsive shooters and dangerous criminals able to get those guns easier than you could find a limited edition book. If you don’t already have a gun store in your town, chances are there is one a couple towns over. And all that person has to do is jump in the car and drive for 15 minutes to get a gun instead of going through vigorous searching and paying for a gun. You know it’s that easy because about 3/4 of guns used in mass shootings thus far in America have been obtained legally without any concern, and then result in terrible massacres.
Finally, there’re your kids. If you have guns and have a family, there’s always a chance that one of those kids will find them and do some serious damage to themselves or others, possibly even life threatening. Overall, about 32,000 people die from gun violence a year around the world. 591 are accidents, and 102 of those deaths are teens and children. 102 kids die a year because of reckless gun usage, whether they found it, accidentally shot it, dropped it and it fired. No matter what way it happened, it still happens almost every day. Even Washington Post Acknowledges the horrors associated with children and gun violence. “When children unintentionally shoot themselves or other people, media reports typically follow. A three-year-old boy is playing with a gun and shoots himself in the face. A four-year-old girl discovers a gun and shoots her four-year-old cousin, killing him. A three-year-old boy shoots himself in the head. A five-year-old accidentally shoots a three-year-old girl. A five-year-old boy accidentally shoots and kills himself. A four-year-old boy accidentally shoots himself. A two-year-old boy shoots and kills his 11-year-old sister. It goes on like this, story after story of unintentional shootings involving children that lead to injuries or deaths. (Many unintentional shootings of children occur when they are with people of similar ages, Vernick said, though many also involve children by themselves.) Therefore, stricter gun control can not only protect innocent adults but innocent children as well. Children that still have a whole life to live.
I have a lot of opinions on things when it comes to our world’s problems, and there are only a couple that I would take the time to write about and even argue about. This happens to be one of them. No matter how many #prayfor___ hashtags appear, if we don’t do anything about gun control, more and more innocent people are going to be killed every day and nothing is going to change except the rate of casualties. If we want the violence and the horror to end, or at least decrease, we have to start working towards it.
Here are some videos I watched regarding the subject, ones I thought really made an impact and really showed what I believed in and how we need to change our gun laws to keep up with our changing world. I can believe we live in a world where there are mass shootings every couple months where tons of innocent people are killed while just living their lives. Every time those people don’t see it coming, and we wouldn’t see it coming either. Anywhere we go could become the next site of a deadly shooting disaster and were currently doing nothing from preventing that from becoming the reality.
Lets’s work together to reduce the casualties.
P.S. Before backlashing in the comments at things that I’ve said, just remember that it is my commentary on a social event, my opinion. Everyone has different opinions based on their life and experiences thus far, so if I can’t see your point of view and you can’t see mine, why don’t we just leave it at that and move on to the next blog post?