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Are Mass Shootings the New Norm?

Are Mass shootings now just a part of our culture? (photo cred/all-that-is-interesting.com

Mass shootings. It is something that is a part of American culture and it shouldn't be. Even as I am typing this article, I am hearing of another shooting that has happened in California where at least four people have died.

In the past three months, there have been two mass shootings that have claimed double-digit victims, Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs. Fifty-nine were left dead as a result of a shooter in Las Vegas, all people who were trying to enjoy a country concert when someone fired upon them from a nearby hotel. Twenty-six lives, including an unborn child, were killed in Sutherland Springs.

The nation has a system for dealing with mass shootings.

People are shocked and horrified at what has happened, politicians give thoughts and prayers, and then we move on. This cycle must stop. Too many times we have gone through this motion.

There is one thing that always catches my attention with mass shooting—the hypocrisy. Politicians always cry out, “This isn’t a time to discuss gun control!”

But isn’t it?

When people died in New York City because of a terrorist, what did the President do? He called for disbanding the Diversity Visa Lottery Program. Where was the outcry then? The politicians who shout the argument about how it isn’t the time for politics after a tragedy, where were they? Many on the right were jumping on the Diversity Visa Lottery program and calling for a ban hours after the attack. Where was the “not the time” rhetoric? It was nowhere to be found.

What about the lives lost in mass shootings? Where were the Pro-Lifers?

I understand not liking the idea of getting benefit from a tragedy; it sounds disgusting and immoral. But change is needed. Obviously what we have now is not working. People are being killed when they go to school, movie theaters, clubs, and even churches. Mass shootings in America are becoming so normalized that a school in Florida is selling $120 bulletproof panels to put in children’s book bags, according to a CBS article. So, while slipping your child’s textbooks into their book bag, you shall be slipping in a bulletproof panel, too.

There is something about hypocrisy that has always bothered me. I’m not saying that it is just Republicans that do it; Democrats do it too. Why have we deemed gun control a controversial topic? I am for guns; my brother is a hunter. We're from a small town, I believe in the Second Amendment. But we need to realize that the amendment was written when African Americans were not even considered a full human being, and the guns held one round. Laws have been amended in accordance with technological advancements. Shouldn't this one change as well?

There needs to be a conversation about both guns and mental health. We need to have conversations about things that are ugly and uncomfortable.

A person shouldn’t be able to kill 69 people at a concert, 26 in an elementary school, or 25 and an unborn child in a church. Mass shootings should not be normalized. We need to change it, or this will keep happening. If the price for having assault rifles is that children and other innocent souls will be killed, I will not pay it. I refuse. Everyone in the United States is granted the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Those children in Sandy Hook were deprived of that like many others in recent months.

This topic is complicated, and there is not one-solve-all solution. I will not pretend to know everything about gun control, but this is why conversations exist. Gun control is not taking away guns—that’s called gun banning. Gun control is common sense and needs to be enforced to work.

There needs to be calm and factual conversations in this nation not just about gun control but about other important issues facing the nation. As a college student, I am ready to fight for my right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.