A mass shooting devastated the heart of America, claiming the lives of 17 students in Parkland, Florida.
People filled with grief and despair reacted by demanding tighter gun laws.
Gun ownership doesn’t explain the rise in mass shootings — the moral decay of our society does. The senseless tragedy motivated Florida students and politicians to mobilize for more gun control. Ignoring the true issue at hand and distracted by the students’ deaths, many jumped to the conclusion that stricter gun control will save the nation and protect us from future shootings. But banning assault rifles is not the answer.
It wasn’t until the early 1990s that school shootings began to commonly occur. Before the Columbine shooting, which left 15 students dead, the number of deaths from mass shootings was significantly lower.
While progressives believe that easy access to guns has caused the uptick in mass shootings, that cannot be the case. The Bill of Rights has guaranteed the Second Amendment right to keep and bears arms since it passed in 1791. Guns were prevalent in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, yet there were only three or four mass school shootings, all involving less than 10 deaths.
America has changed since then. The fact that we have designated gun-free zones is certainly worth noting. These zones openly invite shooters who seek to kill. Gun-free zones make it easier for shooters to commit atrocities because they know victims cannot defend themselves.
In a time of such suffering, it’s simple to blame the weapon used. But banning guns and enacting restrictive gun laws will not make events like these less likely. When someone is killed in a drunk driving accident does the government take away the car? No. The state charges the driver. Banning guns will only escalate gun violence.
Criminals will always acquire a gun regardless of what the law permits. Chicago is a perfect example. It boasts some of the strictest gun laws in the nation, but people still get shot and killed there every day. Just last week, one of Chicago’s finest was killed at 2 p.m. in the busiest part of downtown Chicago. If that’s strict gun control, I object.
Another contributing factor to the increase in mass school shootings is the stark decline in human interaction. Any school bus stop in America will show a much different image than even ten years ago. Instead of kids laughing and talking with one another, they constantly stare, heads pointed downward, at their cell phones.
President Donald Trump noticed the issue. While grieving with heartbroken parents and family members of Parkland victims, he said there is no “connectedness” anymore.
How is anyone able to feel they belong if no one reaches out to that person? Our society is dangerously isolated, and for a young adult that can be lethal. Where will someone lonely, with no friends, turn for comfort? People on the internet prey on individuals who feel isolated.
The government didn’t give the proper response, either. The FBI investigated the former Parkland shooter that committed the shooting but didn’t take any further action. He has a mental illness. Parents and students informed authorities about his behavior. The police visited him 31 times, according to Fox News, yet they did nothing.
Before people accuse the National Rifle Association of having blood on its hands, people need to think twice. The government was incredibly ineffective despite every sign and opportunity needed to stop this slaughter.
Reports noted that as soon as the shooting began, the security guard ran over to the scene but then turned back. Such an act of cowardice from someone whose job is to serve and protect is another detail that somehow got overlooked. The government failed miserably at every level that day.
If we blame guns for the shooting instead of the person responsible, then we must blame the gun for the lack of shooting from the security guard. If the media can blame the gun regarding the bad guy’s actions then it makes sense to blame failure of the good guy on the gun.
As our government proves itself corrupt and inadequate at almost every turn, we need to protect our individual freedoms more than ever. The slightest appearance of criminality at the FBI, the Department of Justice, and the State Department is startling enough without the government infringing on our Second Amendment.
In 1938, Germany established gun control that prohibited all Jewish citizens from owning a gun. One year later, the government began to gather 6 million Jews, killing them over a six-year period. The government shouldn’t decide who can own guns.
If the U.S. government takes away the right to keep and bear arms, we will have nothing to protect ourselves from an entity that grows more dishonorable and unethical each day. The Founding Fathers experienced a corrupt government that chose to assert power over its citizens. That’s why they wisely chose to include the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights — to secure that American citizens would always have the ability to protect themselves from a tyrannical government.
Should the government ever choose to take away our guns, law-abiding citizens would have to give their guns up while those who do not follow the law (people who commit mass school shootings fall under this category) would still have theirs. Progressives speak of restricting firearm purchases; however, this makes it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to purchase them.
Rhetoric in the left-wing media and the misplaced call for action by outraged students is just a confused response to a tragic event. Guns are not the problem, and, in many cases, they are the solution.
Allison Schuster is a freshman studying the liberal arts.