The discussion on gun control is a tired one. Time and time again we come back to the same debate: whether or not gun control would infringe on Second Amendment rights, whether or not it is actually effective in reducing the amount of gun related violence in America.
News stories sound like broken records, with articles talking about the same problems and the same solutions, offering the same alternatives and same arguments.
I believe the American people, myself included, are tired of all this debate without tangible results.
After the unfortunate events in San Bernardino, here we are again, at square one. Once again gun control is at the center of discussion at American dinner tables. It will stay that way until something is done.
Tragedy will strike, mourning will follow, heated debate, then inaction. The whole thing a sickly routine that is part of the quotidian life of Americans.
There is a bright spot, though. President Obama issued an executive order on January 5, which included universal background checks on anyone attempting to acquire a firearm, as well as other components that, although do not go far enough, are preliminary steps toward laws that would actually be effective.
President Obama announced his executive order with an emotional speech that brought him to tears.
“Every time I think about those kids, it get sme mad,” Obama said, referring to the various mass shootings and deaths involving children, such as the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting.
The executive order was met with anger and sharp criticism from President Obama’s Republican colleagues.
“This president wants to act as if he’s a king, as if he’s a dictator,” Republican Governor Chris Christie said.
Many analysts on the Fox News network, as well, attacked Obama, and some even questioned his emotionality. Many even argued that gun violence went down, and gun control was not even necessary.
Whether or not the statistics are true, that can be argued.
But what can’t be argued is the fact that Americans suffer more gun related attacks than any other country in the world. According to International Action Network on Small Arms in the United States (IANSA), countries like Japan and Canada have fewer than 200 gun related incidents annually, while the United States has over 30,000.
Even after we factor in the fact that the United States has a higher population, the numbers still tell a tragic story.
Guns have become a problem in this country, and legislative action is necessary. Whether or not that law comes into fruition, is up to us, the citizens of this great country, and the victims of these incidents. We don’t need a ban on all firearms; all we need is common sense laws that restrict the access of guns to criminals and those with mental illnesses.
This is what President Obama has proposed various times during his presidency, only to be blocked by lawmakers in Washington.
It is our turn to have a say in what happens in our communities and cities. We cannot wait for another mass shooting to happen to provoke our elected officials to take action.
Too many lives have been lost, and families ruined. Unfortunately, our leaders have failed us. They’ve failed to come up with gun laws that protect us. It is now on our hands to change laws and make America safer.
We must make our voices heard; write to your local politicians, become involved in talks at home, become an activist to support common sense gun laws.
We must make a difference in our communities. Americans’ lives are being lost, not in Iraq, not in Syria, but in the very streets that we walk, in the very schools we study in and the theaters we go to.
We cannot afford inaction, not when American lives on the line, not when our families’ and friends’ lives are on the line.