Editorial: Lives of United States citizens are worth more than a gun

Today is day 148 of 2022. In 148 days, the United States has experienced 214 mass shootings. A mass shooting occurs when four or more people are shot, not including the shooter. With more than half of the year left, action must be taken to prevent this ever-increasing trend from becoming more detrimental to our society than it already has.

Nowadays, people hear of a mass shooting, and while it is heartbreaking, people are no longer surprised. How is it that society in the United States has normalized the deaths and injuries of multiple people and turned them into nothing more than a brief social media movement?

On Sept. 11, 2001, there were four coordinated suicide terrorist attacks. One horrifying event and airport security measures were forever changed. Now thousands of mass shootings later, no action has been taken. It’s time for the United States to step back and realize the danger they are constantly putting citizens in.

Examples from the rest of the world have shown that change is very much possible and very much effective. In Scotland, a gunman entered, shot, and killed 16 kids and a teacher. This event took place at Dunblane Primary School 26 years ago. Now, over 9400 days later, 0 shootings have taken place.

The lack of shootings in Scotland is not simply because of luck. It is because the government in the U.K. saw this event and acted on it. Following the Dunblane shooting, the U.K. enacted gun control legislation, successfully preventing future shootings. The same cannot be said for the U.S., where calls for change are met with weak statements of sympathy and nothing more.

Not only should things be changed with automatic gun regulation, but overall security systems should be questioned. According to ABC News, in the most recent school shooting in Uvalde Texas, police waited for backup to enter the school for roughly 40 minutes.

When asked about the delayed response and questionable behavior, the White House dodged claims of police accountability.

“The President has the utmost respect for the men and women of law enforcement,” said Ms. Jean-Pierre, White House Representative.

If this ideal had been followed previously, no investigation would have been suggested over tragedies of unacceptable police behavior such as the murder of George Floyd. When the White House is questioned over recent shootings, they have sidestepped any questions and have not progressed actions for change.

Whether the issue is police behavior, gun-control legislation, or school safety measures, one question stands. How many lives? How many lives have to be taken before something changes?

With school shootings alone, the United States numbers 228 in 2022. Comparative to other countries, Canada has had two, Russia has had one, Mexico has had eight, China has had one, and the list goes on, reflecting drastic differences between other nations and the U.S. What is it that this country needs to see that this is not normal? The United States is the odd man out, and people are dying because of it.

One drastic action that must be taken is the regulation of gun sales, especially automatic weapons. Some states allow children as young as 14 to purchase certain kinds of guns. Thorough background checks are often not required, and many people can easily obtain a gun. Without cause for purchase, gun sales should be questioned and given to reputable people only.

Thoughts and prayers only go so far. Something substantial must happen, and people will continue to die in the meantime. The March For Our Lives organization is now preparing to act. To get involved and stay updated on actions being taken, you can text CHANGE to 954-954.