The Feb. 14 high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, has us asking: How does this keep happening?
We, at The Collegian, are no longer shocked by another heart-shattering mass shooting. We’ve become desensitized to these common atrocities, so we do not always feel the outrage these events deserve.
We find ourselves asking: How has change not come yet?
Since the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012, there have been 1,608 mass shootings, according to Gun Violence Archive, and more than 100 gun control bills have since been introduced on Capitol Hill. Every single one has failed, according to Newsweek.
In the first two months of 2018 alone, there have been 35 mass shootings in the United States, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
This status quo of owning guns trumping human life has cost 65 lives this year alone.
President Donald Trump said he would have rushed in to save the students and teachers of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, even if he was unarmed. Though it’s a nice sentiment, words are ultimately pointless. We need action.
If Trump is so willing to save American people from another mass shooting, why hasn’t he spearheaded effective legislation to address the United States’ mass shooting problem?
We do not claim to have all the answers. We understand the gun issue in the U.S. is complicated, and a solution to rampant gun violence deserves great care. But there is obviously progress to be made, and that can only be done through sensible legislation.
None of this is to say both sides of the aisle are inactive in attempting to solve this problem.
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) are working on a bill that would raise the minimum age to buy an AR-15 rifle to 21 for civilians, according to CNN. An initiative opposed by the NRA.
The Department of Justice began rewriting its regulations in December to ban bump stocks, which allow a shooter to fire off multiple rounds until the trigger is released — making mass shootings deadlier.
The Fix NICS Act of 2017 would give states financial incentives to report to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System and in turn increase enforcement of gun regulation.
But as long as the mass killings of Americans continues to be a partisan issue, all of these bills will most likely fail.
This endless cycle of mass shootings, conversations about gun control and ignoring it until the next group of people dies has to end.
Let’s make this phase of the cycle different. Let’s take legislative action to make the United States safer, and let’s follow through.
This shouldn’t feel normal. U.S. officials need to address the problem with policy change.