On Feb. 14, a former student went into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and killed 17 people. In response, President Donald Trump tweeted that “no child, teacher or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an American school.” That would be a nice sentiment, but the problem is that this was the 18th school shooting in the United States in 2018. The problem is that no one is surprised when these shootings occur. The problem is that nothing ever changes.
I hate to be such a pessimist about it. Really, I do, but at this point, I can’t say anything that hasn’t already been said. Thanks for your prayers and condolences, President Trump, but in the end, those are nothing but words. No amount of prayers will bring the victims home, and no amount of condolences will prevent this from happening again in the all-too-near future. There is one solution, and one solution alone: we need to get rid of guns in America.
Before you say it, no, I don’t care about your Second Amendment rights. I care about my life, and the lives of the people around me. In no world should a 19-year-old kid be able to access an AR-15 rifle. Look at Japan. They have nearly eradicated gun violence, but please, tell me why you need a flamethrower to feel safe. Remember, if no one has guns, no one else needs a gun for protection. Japan also requires citizens who wish to own firearms to take written exams, attend long courses and pass a shooting range test. Then, there are drug tests and mental health examinations. The police also have to know where one’s guns and ammunition are stored. Oh, and this process must be repeated every three years. If that sounds inconvenient, you probably shouldn’t have a gun at all.
What bewilders me every damn day of my life is how we know this, and we can see the benefits to such strict gun control (hello, near-zero mass shootings!), but American lawmakers absolutely refuse to make any strides towards this level of control. Back to the Second Amendment, I guess. Why anyone cares so much about such an outdated piece of legislature is beyond me. The Republicans refuse to let the Democrats “take away their guns,” but the Democrats aren’t putting up much of a fight anyway.
And thus, we’ve come full circle. We know the answer to gun violence, but it simply won't happen. I guess this is America, and if I don’t like it, I should leave. Believe me, I’m trying. I just hope I won’t get shot before I do.
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