Controlling Guns in the Land of the Free

On October 1, 59 concert goers were massacred and more than 500 injured during an act of terror, making this the worst mass shooting in US history. Shockingly, for many of us, this isn’t the first time in our lives that a mass shooting has been labeled “the worst mass shooting in US history.” We heard it just last year after the attack on Pulse nightclub in Orlando, and many Americans are asking why this seemingly preventable problem continues to plague our society.

Tragedies like the one carried out in Las Vegas and Orlando are often followed with a surge of conversation: from mental health and violence in media to terrorism and gun control. But no matter how large the tragedy, the conversation seems to gradually dissipate from our news feeds until the next tragedy occurs, and we’re forced to talk about it again.

One of the most heartbreaking things about gun violence in America is the complete lack of action and legislation to keep us safer. According to “Mass Shooting Tracker”, which has been cited by CNN, the New York Times, MSNBC and more, In 2017, there have already been 278 attacks that can be considered mass shootings, and 12,012 people have been killed in gun-related incidents. These incidents range from mass shootings to police shootings to suicides. No other country is haunted by this astronomical number of gun deaths. So why does America, land of the free, continuously do nothing about this glaring problem?

This is a uniquely American problem. In a community that tends to be more conservative, we need to put our politics aside and simply think about what’s best for the American public. We need to shift the conversation away from mental health and violence in media to the real issue: gun control. We as a people need to make a compromise; we need to sacrifice automatic and semi-automatic weapons that only serve to kill. We need to have better background checks and restrictions and

 make sure that we’re doing everything we can to prevent guns from getting in the wrong hands. As a community that values freedom and the right to bear arms, we need to also value safety.

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