Gun violence still rampant with lack of regulations

Despite the increasing number of gun-related deaths in the United States, there has been virtually no progress in establishing laws to regulate firearms.

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Despite the increasing number of gun-related deaths in the United States, there has been virtually no progress in establishing laws to regulate firearms.

Sarah Schisla, Scot Scoop Editor-in-Chief

It happened again. Only this time, the tragedy was broadcast live on television.

The names and details are different each time, but innocent lives have once again been cut short by an angry man with a gun.

Enough is enough.

Since the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, America has seen nearly 90,000 gun deaths and over 126 school shootings. Children in the United States are killed at gunpoint 11 times more often than children of other “high-income” nations.

Shouldn’t something have changed by now?

Despite these alarming statistics and the all-too-frequent occurrences of mass shootings, no major federal gun control legislation has been put into effect since the Assault Weapons Ban of 1994, and only minimal efforts have been made on a state level.

You would think that the rampant shootings (nearing 300) over the past three years would have had some impact. You would think that the tens of thousands of gun-related deaths would have reminded us, week after week, that change is necessary.

Understandably, many feel threatened by gun violence in America, as evidenced by the spike in gun sales that follows publicized shootings.

The sale of more guns is not the solution. However, with sometimes ineffective legislation in place to regulate the purchase of firearms, some feel that this is the only way to protect themselves and their families from the next gunman to inevitably make headlines.

Some argue that it is their Second Amendment right to bear arms. Backed by the powerful and financially influential National Rifle Association (NRA), the opposition to gun control has proven difficult to overcome.

The fear of losing guns should not take precedence over the fear of being shot.

According to Frontline on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), the gun lobby spends more than twice the amount available to gun-control groups; more than 97 percent of this comes directly from the NRA.

Although a series of gun laws were proposed following the Sandy Hook shooting, none were passed due to conservative resistance within Congress.

These regulations would have included universal background checks for firearm sales and banned the purchase or sale of assault weapons (such as guns capable of holding more than 10 rounds) for recreational use.

Although the proposed regulations were clearly aimed to keep lethal weapons out of the hands of potentially dangerous people, the bills were met with tough conservative resistance.

Isn’t the potential to save hundreds or even thousands of lives worth an inconvenience on the part of gun enthusiasts? Why is this even a debate?

It is our duty to protect our fellow citizens. We can start by simply supporting bills such as those that failed to pass in Congress in 2013 and by writing to our senators about this issue.

On a social level, we can make an effort to stop glorifying gun violence.

There’s a reason I refuse to write the name of the alleged murderer.

Today we remember WDBJ7-TV reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward.

Who knows who we’ll be mourning next week?


This editorial reflects the views of the Scot Scoop editorial board.