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Democrats Discuss: Gun control whispers should turn into legislation

On July 20, 2012, we sat stunned when 12 people were killed in a theater.

Five months later, on Dec. 14, 2012, we were horrified and shocked when 28 people were murdered, 20 of whom were first graders in Newtown, CT.

June 12, 2016, the U.S. suffered a mass shooting when 50 people were killed at a nightclub in Orlando.

And now, Oct. 1, 2017, we’re shocked, horrified, and outraged as we see raw footage of at least 59 people slain and over 500 injured, resulting in the new deadliest mass shooting in American history—only a year after the previous. Yet again at the hands of a gun.

In each case, Americans were absolutely stunned by the tragic events. We agonized over why it had happened, how it had happened. We deeply grieved for the victims and their families. What happened next?

We forgot.

These mass shootings are only the tip of the iceberg — more than 10,000 Americans die of gun violence each year. That equates to more Americans dying every two months than the amount that died in 9/11.

As days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months, our feelings faded—the events stored in the back of our mind, only to be brought up occasionally. Of course, there was outcry for gun control, but arguments arose and as Congress failed to pass more restrictive gun laws, the outcry was silenced to a whisper.

In fact, guns seem to be easier than ever to obtain.

Only 10 states and Washington have a waiting period when purchasing a gun and 38 states have no universal background checks despite 90 percent of Americans being in favor of them.

Mass shootings have become routine. The only way to stop them is to change our response, because frankly the time for reform has long passed, as evident by these repeated massacres. We must enact universal background checks, implement waiting periods, limit the number of purchases, and prevent sales to terrorists or the mentally ill. These actions will restrict guns solely created to further enable individuals to commit violence.

It’s essential to remember the horror and despair felt when witnessing news on the massacres and use it for action. We must hold our representatives accountable. We must demand meaningful legislation. Above all, this time we must not let our cry for gun control be diminished to another whisper.

Hunter Graffice is a freshman studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. How has the new university policy affected you? Let Hunter know by dropping a tweet @HunterGraffice4.

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