Another shooting, another fallen victim, another distraught family. Four days ago, at a high school in Santa Clarita, California, two students died by the hands of a classmate. In Fresno, California, four were killed at a football viewing party in a backyard. It’s stories like those that should make people wonder when change will occur. Change can only start with better gun control laws.
There have been organizations such as Everytown for Gun Safety, Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, and more recently, March for Our Lives which has lobbied and advocated for congressional members to foster policy change. That advocacy has fostered some change politically: Florida legislators banned bump fire stocks and raised the minimum age for purchasing rifles to 21. That change only occurred, however, after the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The policy changes need to occur before another tragedy strikes and before another life is lost.
People are living in a nation of fear. It is difficult for people to shop, watch a movie, go to church and even go to school without the looming fear of it being their last day. Congratulations are in order for Florida legislators who decided to take matters into their own hands and strengthen gun control laws. The only criticism is how long it took to do this. Congressional representatives should not wait until the next tragedy to strengthen gun control laws; it needs to happen now.
The government enacting stronger gun control laws is an issue that divides the nation. Gun ownership is rooted in the Second Amendment, declaring the right to bear arms. There is a national understanding that it is unconstitutional to strip that right. With that understanding, gun control organizations are not asking to take away the right to bear arms but to make guns less accessible.
Since the tragic mass shooting at Columbine High School in 1999, there have been over 230 school shootings. With that statistic in mind, it makes no sense that there are no federal laws banning semi-automatic assault weapons, military-style rifles or large-capacity magazines.
There are countless arguments, not only over the right to bear arms but about the state of mind of the perpetrator. The overall consensus society needs to have is that children, specifically, need to be protected. Strengthening gun control laws will lower homicide rates, as shown through other countries and establish some degree of safety.
People need to perfect and take action in the things they can control and advocate for the protection of children. Strengthening gun laws is one thing society can control through democratic means. Enough is enough.
Iana Fields is a freshman studying english creative writing at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk to Iana? Tweet her @FieldsIana.