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Monday, Mar 4, 2024
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Opinion: Stop sending good vibes and start taking action

Gun control rally in front of the White House.
Gun control rally in front of the White House.

On Feb. 14, 17 lives were lost at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. At 2:19 p.m., Nikolas Cruz walked into his old high school with an AR-15 style rifle and killed 17 of his former classmates and teachers. A 19-year-old was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder, according to Sun Sentinel, a local Florida newspaper.  

This slaughter is considered to be the worst school shooting to have taken place, replacing the Columbine shooting of 1999 as the deadliest, according to The Miami Herald. This event, with several shootings that have occurred over the course of the past few years in the back of the minds of American citizens, has rocked our country. It has caused a greater divide between not only the right and the left, but most Americans.

The main focus after shootings such as this seems to be wholly about guns and the laws that surround a citizen’s rights to own, carry and obtain guns. Should we have stricter gun laws, or does that fundamentally go against our Second Amendment rights?

Personally, I believe that before we even start to think about gun laws, we have to assess the role that violence has played in our society. All around the world, we see violence everywhere we turn. The brutality starts off on our television screens. In almost every television show I have ever watched, there has been some form of violence.

Violence also floods our news, pops up on all of our social media and infiltrates almost every aspect of our lives. It is almost as if seeing cruelty has become so commonplace that it makes us not pay attention to it as much.

We are a culture that has desensitized ourselves to violence, only sending “prayers for the family” and “good vibes” to those who are hurt by violence instead of pushing for action against it.

The students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have banded together since the horrifying event that took place on Valentine’s Day this year. They have organized several walk-outs, called for bans on companies that give discounts to NRA members and have started a revolution against the legalization of assault-style rifles, as reported by CNN.  

These students have facilitated meetings with lawmakers, people in power and even the President himself. Students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have influenced, empowered and inspired thousands of people across the country in a call to arms for ending gun violence.

Overall, I think the banning of assault-style rifles is a complicated issue. I don’t think that the average citizen should have access to a semi-automatic rifle, but I can understand how some people may think that banning guns of any sort could potentially step on the toes of the Second Amendment. When it comes to the safety of children, for example, we have to start implementing steps in order to prevent another instance like the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas. WHile we do have a right under the Second Amendment to bear arms, it is our responsibility as citizens of the United States to make sure that our people are safe, especially the children in our society.

In order to stop mass shootings like what happened at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, our society needs to start paying more attention to who has access to high caliber weapons. We need to start implementing more in depth background checks, as well as potentially starting psychological evaluations for people who are wanting to purchase a gun. In addition to that, law enforcement officers have to make sure that gun dispensaries are actually following the laws that are in place in order to make sure that our citizens are safe.


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