The year was 1999. For the most part, citizens of the United States felt safe in their schools, churches, and homes. Then, the mass shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado took place on April 20, killing 13 and wounding more than 20.
Now, in 2018, it seems that nothing has been done to put an end to these horrific shootings. They just seem to be getting worse. The domino effect of mass shootings in the U.S. seemed to start with Columbine, moving to Virginia Tech, Aurora, Sandy Hook, San Bernardino, Orlando, Las Vegas, and Sutherland Springs.
This brings us to February 14, 2018 on a day that usually celebrates love, but also the day when a former student of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, stole the lives of 17 students and teachers with an AR-15 rifle.
With more and more senseless killings by guns on the rise, the topic of gun control has been more heated now than it has ever has been. Once again, citizens find themselves demanding politicians to do something, or even anything to help put a stop to these violent tragedies.
This of course received a lot of backlash, especially on social media, with many legal gun-owners complaining that any gun reform would go against their second amendment right.
It is astonishing how a person could be capable of murdering 17 people with a semi-automatic assault weapon, but even more astonishing that after all that has happened in our country over the past decade, some people are more concerned with their weapons than they are with the lives of other human beings.
Twitter especially has become more prominent in the past few years, with many people using it as a way to express their unfiltered opinions behind a screen.
British newspaper columnist Dan Hodges gave his two cents on the U.S. gun debate back in 2015, with a depressing tweet about the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school that pretty much summed up the gun arguments going on at the time.
In his tweet, Hodges writes “In retrospect, Sandy Hook marked the end of the US gun control debate. Once America decided killing children was bearable, it was over”.
And here we are, six years after Sandy Hook, and nothing has changed.
Not a single action has been taken to further protect Americans against gun violence. A simple background check would be a nice start on those wishing to purchase a gun, but essentially anyone can get their hands on these deadly weapons, which has been made clear through recent events.
There is absolutely no reason for anyone to have access to such powerful weapons such as an AR-15. These types of weapons are purely destructive and deadly, and there is absolutely no reason for anyone to have one.
Of course, people will argue against this, saying that guns are not the problem, the person with the gun is the problem. However, having a gun makes it a whole lot easier to kill someone than being without one.
It is disgusting how people value their guns more than a child’s life, which is why we do not seem to be getting anywhere with the issue.
This is until the survivors of the Parkland attack started speaking up and sharing their stories, bringing the community and the nation together for one thing: An end to the chaos brought about by guns.
Emma Gonzalez, who is a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, addressed a crowd at a gun control rally in Fort Lauderdale, just days after the incident occurred.
But there was no time to waste, for if there is going to be change, it is going to be now.
In her speech, Gonzalez declares that “we are up here standing together because if all our government and President can do is send thoughts and prayers, then it’s time for victims to be the change that we need to see. Since the time of the Founding Fathers and since they added the Second Amendment to the Constitution, our guns have developed at a rate that leaves me dizzy. The guns have changed but our laws have not”.
If our politicians will not do anything to prevent something like this from ever happening again, our generation must take this problem into our own hands.
Starting a hashtag on Twitter is one thing, but this time around, students all over the United States are rallying together to fight this evil, hoping to actually bring about some change instead of living the same useless cycle that happens after every tragedy.
Thoughts and prayers will only get us so far, which is why we need to come together as a nation and end the senseless killings once and for all.
Be sure to check out a counter article that will be posted on March 2.
By LILY BAZIS
Featured photo: Amy Wojtowicz image.