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Kash.0: Las Vegas revisits old worries, creates new ones

Will I stay awake in class today? Where can I get an internship this summer? Is good kid, m.A.A.d city better than To Pimp a Butterfly?

Pondering all of those compelling questions, I staggered out of bed, hitting my head on the top of my bunk as I woke up. Realizing it would be another typical Monday morning, all I wanted to do was to get my earliest class over with (which starts at 1 p.m., I’m not exactly a morning person). 

While cleaning up my dorm room, which was equivalent to the aftermath of a volcanic eruption, I instinctively grabbed my phone buzzing to notifications from what I originally thought would be all the fantasy football points I would be receiving from my decision to start Le'Veon Bell. However, football was the last thing on my mind as soon as I read the tragic headline about the mass shooting in Las Vegas.

I closed my eyes and pictured myself when I was 7 years old in my second grade classroom, watching the teacher cry upon hearing the news about the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting. I pictured myself in eighth grade during science class hearing about the 2012 Sandy Hook elementary school shooting; this time it was me trying to hold back tears thinking how someone could possess so much evil and heartlessness to kill school children and teachers alike. I thought how this was the third time seeing headline “deadliest mass shooting in US history.” I’m only 18 years old. How many more times will I have to see this headline, God forbid write one, in my life?

“He was a lone wolf,” “He had no criminal record,” “He was mentally ill.” You know what else the alleged shooter Stephen Paddock was? A terrorist. According to Merriam-Webster, terrorism is defined as “The use of violent acts to frighten as a way of trying to achieve a political goal.” Nonetheless, it would be wrong to assume what his political goal was, as that has not been truly determined by investigators, yet I think murdering 59 innocent civilians and injuring 500 more from the havoc created can qualify as a “violent act.” 

Now, in the aftermath of this awful shooting, many were quick to remind people to refrain from politicizing this event and bringing one’s own personal opinions into it. I generally would agree with this statement, however, the hypocrisy is all too familiar considering how after the 2015 San Bernardino shooting, numerous people, including our own president, were completely in support of barring Muslims and shutting down mosques due to the prevention of the spread of radical Islamic terror. 

Flash forward nearly two years later, and the sad yet absolute truth is some people within in our nation cannot accept nor acknowledge the fact that the worst mass shooting in U.S. history was committed by a white male. So, is now the time to talk about privilege, or should we continue to angrily type paragraphs of hatred directed towards NFL players that decide to kneel? 

“Guns don’t kill people, people kill people!” I eagerly recited from Cloyd Rivers’s twitter account to my conservative friend during history class. He patted me on the back, telling me, “Now that’s the right mindset, Akash. A gun can’t kill anyone unless used/fired by the perpetrator.” 

You’re right Joe, guns totally aren’t the problem in the U.S. considering there have been about 1,500 mass shootings since the 2012 Sandy Hook elementary school massacre.

Now, those of you who are avid gun users, no I’m not that "liberal nut" who’s trying to say we should ban firearms altogether and live in a gun-free society. Ideologically, this would be impossible considering nearly one out of three Americans possess some type of gun. However, how many more of these mass shootings will our nation have to endure before some type of change is implemented? 

On April 28, 1996, Australia endured its worst mass shooting in its country’s history. In its tragic aftermath, people and government officials didn’t preach over Twitter how “guns don’t kill people” and take pride in their deeply embedded gun culture and how citizens needed firearms for safety. Instead, just 12 days later, Australia passed a series of laws known as the National Firearms Agreement Act. Within this act, stricter gun laws were imposed particularly on semi-automatic and automatic rifles. The result? There hasn’t been a mass shooting in Australia since April of 1996.

Prayers to the fallen and everyone who has suffered from this awful tragedy. However, ultimately we need more than just our prayers to fix this issue that continues to plague our society today. 

Akash Bakshi 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 do you feel about the recent events in Las Vegas? Let Akash know by tweeting him @akashmbakshi.

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