Within the first four months of 2021, there have been a total of 142 mass shootings, ranging from 35-48 each month, with a total of 162 killed, and 539 injured. Yet, even with the hundreds who have been injured or have died due to these shootings, there is still a debate on whether there should be some form of gun control.
I have been in at least two hard lockdowns with the possibility of a shooter in the area since elementary school. That is too many. When will it stop? When will the government see that this is a safety issue, not a rights issue? When will children be able to sleep through the night instead of having nightmares due to post-traumatic stress disorder? When will their teachers be able to stop saying, “Why that student? Why not me?”
As a nation, we need to remove semi-automatic guns from our citizens. Keep your pistols, keep your hunting rifles, keep whatever. But do not keep your semi-automatics because they are just not needed. You don’t need them to protect yourself, to hunt, to do whatever. They only hurt people.
The majority of the weapons used in mass shootings have been semi-automatic, whether they came in the form of a rifle or a handgun. While the majority of the victims were adults, 10 children, 12 teenagers and 14 elderly have been injured in the shootings.
One such shooting occurred in a neighborhood of Brooklyn, where a 9-year-old girl was found hiding in a closet by police after she had called 911. She told the dispatcher that her father had shot and killed her mother and two sisters, and later himself.
We all know about the very recent Rock Hill, South Carolina shooting involving a former professional American football player. He killed four victims, two of which were children under the age of 10. He shot himself afterward.
Children are affected in one way or another with these shootings, whether it means that lockdown drills are heightened at their schools, or they lose a family member, or are injured by a gunman. When did gun rights overpower the life of children?
In the end, all I can ask is – Why do you need a semi-automatic weapon? How many more people need to die for you to see that this isn’t just an issue of background checks but is also an availability issue? It’s very difficult to have this discussion when those who barely had a chance to live were taken away in a split second. Yet, it’s a much-needed discussion nonetheless.
As of April 12, 162 lives have been taken, equating to nearly two lives per day. If that doesn’t scream that we are in need of a change, I don’t know what will.
We the people demand change.
Staff Writer | Graphic Artist