In the News

Why we need to talk about gun violence

Trigger Warning: This article discusses sensitive and tough material.

This past week, you would have been hardpressed to turn on the news and not learn of another mass shooting that claimed the lives of innocent Americans. From Chicago, Illinois, to Austin, Texas, there have already been at least six large-scale shootings this year...and it's only been four months.

This would be abnormal for the rest of the world, but has become the sad reality of those who live in the United States. In 2020 alone, at least 20,000 people lost their lives to gun violence. Another 24,000 died by firearm-inflicted suicide. When seeing such a high death toll, it is hard to deny that the United States has a gun violence problem.

...So why don't we do something about it?

Recently, President Biden has advocated for Congress to pass gun control legislation. Ninety percent of Americans support common-sense gun control measures, like increased background checks, yet Congress has not passed substantial gun legislation since the Brady Bill in 1993.

While many argue that common-sense gun control infringes upon the rights given by the 2nd Amendment, it is probably safe to say that the Founding Fathers, who fought with muskets and cannonballs, could have ever predicted the readily available weapons of mass munition that exist today.

Americans have become so desensitized to gun violence that it no longer fazes us when we watch another shooting death toll run across the TV screen. This apathy tells politicians—and the gun lobby—that they can continue to get away with sitting by idly while Americans live in fear.

What kind or world do we live in when go to the movie theater or walking through the mall is a potentially life-ending activity? I'll tell you this, it's not the kind of world I want to live in.

So here is what we can do: be outraged and demand better. 

The United States will not begin to make real progress in the movement to eradicate gun violence until two things begin to change: the culture and the politicans. In the meantime, demand transparency and justice from your representatives. Whether you write your local congressional representative or you intern for an organization directly fighting to end gun violence, you'll be playing a part in leaving your country a better place than you found it.

If you are struggling to process these events, reach out to an adult you trust. 


by Claire Hutto | 4/23/2021