Is It Truly A Right We Have To Die For?

We Have Seen The Never-ending Trend Of Mass Shootings And Still No One Speaks

By: Kylie Hapuarachchi

APTOPIX Texas Mall Shooting

The continuous mourning of loved ones that have faced gun violence. Credit: Harvard Gazette

The never-ending trend of loved ones being taken away. It has been one of the notorious things the US has been known for.

Especially in the recent years where there has been an uptick in mass shootings. Guns have always been a question of whether the public should have them or not. 

As part of the second amendment, it declares that every citizen has the right to bear arms. The public believes that if this right is taken away, it would be another way for the government to have autonomy over its people.

If that is the case, then why not make the criteria for holding a firearm more extensive. Nationwide psychological tests would allow a physician to know if the person is mentally fit to have a weapon of such. 

The deadliest mass school shooting was April 20th 1999, in Littleton, Colorado. It is known as the Columbine Shooting where 14 students and one teacher had lost their lives that day.

That was not the last of the school shootings. December 14th 2012, the lives of 20 first graders were taken along with 6 faculty members. 

A few years later the country would face The Las Vegas Shooting in 2017, Sutherland Springs Church Shooting in 2017, and the Parkland Shooting in 2018. Within months lives were changed from an unstable person getting their hands on a deadly weapon.

In the past 88 days there have been 117 mass shootings in 29 states including Washington D.C., out of those only a few have been reported on with major media coverage.

88 days, a mere three months, and many lives have been lost due to gun violence.

After the most recent mass shootings including the one in the Atlanta Spa Shooting and the Boulder Shooting, the House has passed a series of bills to expand and strengthen background checks for gun buyers. 

This would require additional background checks for all gun buyers and extend the time for the FBI to look at all of those that have been flagged by the national instant check system.

The new bills that are put into place so that the number of these shootings can decrease in drastic numbers. However, criticism comes with this as many wonder why not have a stricter gun control much like other countries already have in place.

Countries like the UK, Australia, Japan and Germany, all have more strict gun control. Within these countries, guns do exist however, there is an immense decrease in the violence that comes with the broad gun laws the US has. 

Australia had one devastating mass shooting in April of 1996, 35 people had their lives taken from them within 30 minutes. The murderer Martin Bryant had 35 terms of life imprisonment.

Within the weeks that passed right after, Australia’s then prime minister John Howard started a campaign to have an effective way to control the usage of guns. 

According to the Guardian, “Howard proposed each state and territory should introduce and enforce a firearm licensing and registration system which required people to have a ‘genuine reason’ for having a firearm, such as sport or target shooting, recreational hunting or being a farmer.”

Australia did not take away the right to bear arms, they simply restricted it so that not everyone could own a firearm.

They did not do anything to impose on society’s freedoms they wanted to make the country as a whole safer. 

The idea of guns comes with the memory of countless lockdown drills that are instilled within the youth of America. The feeling that going outside, can lead to never going back home, that feeling and the truth of that feeling is one that needs to stop.

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