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18 school shootings later and America still won’t talk about gun control

Survivors+of+the+Parkland+school+shooting+protesting+for+stricter+Gun+Laws.+%28Public+Domain+Photo%29++
Survivors of the Parkland school shooting protesting for stricter Gun Laws. (Public Domain Photo)

Survivors of the Parkland school shooting protesting for stricter Gun Laws. (Public Domain Photo)

Survivors of the Parkland school shooting protesting for stricter Gun Laws. (Public Domain Photo)

Karly Ortiz, Commentary Reporter

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Just four months ago, the country watched the devastation that plagued the concertgoers on the Las Vegas strip at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival for one of the deadliest mass shootings in America. Questions and a true seriousness about gun control began to surface. I remember hearing people ask, “How can one person own 42 guns without any red flags?” I have to admit, I wondered the same thing. Day after day, more news surfaced about the Mandalay Bay shooter, the survivors, and stories of loved ones lost, until a month later, when life seemed to go on. In fact, 18 more shootings to date, have happened, and for the life of me, I can’t figure out why the discussion surrounding gun control is still a discussion rather than intervention and action? It doesn’t take a genius to realize the issue here. Gun control is necessary for America. At some point, Americans have to realize that owning guns is not more important than the lives of innocent people.

When 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz opened fire at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on Valentines Day, I thought for sure the death of 17 people would be the jolt Americans needed to demand a discussion about gun control, but to my dismay and disappointment, no such discussion has taken place. From reports on the news to shared opinions through social media, sometimes I think nobody’s listening. Senator Marco Rubio and N.R.A. (National Rifle Association) spokeswoman, Dana Loesch, both refused to accept or support new gun control laws. They refused even while they were faced with the citizens of Florida, who practically begged them to reconsider.

People who are crazy should not be able to get firearms ”

— Dana Loesch

In her statement, Loesch indicates that there should be mental health laws, rather than gun control laws. But, what most people fail to consider, is that not all gunmen in mass shootings have been “mentally unstable.” According to a report by CNN, under federal law, “a person can be tallied in a database and barred from purchasing or possessing a firearm due to a mental illness under two conditions: if he is involuntarily committed to a mental hospital, or if a court or government body declare him mentally incompetent.” Even the discussion of mental illness can’t mask the issue of gun control. If only our U.S. Congress was brave enough to face the issue. Instead, it’s my opinion that politicians continue to waffle on the issue, especially those who depend on the NRA to fund their re-election campaigns.

CNN also reports that “A licensed gun dealer is required under federal law to run potential buyers through the criminal background check system. The process usually takes around 90 seconds, and, if all the records are in the right place, would prevent a purchaser who was previously involuntarily committed or adjudicated as mentally incompetent from getting the gun.

The survivors of the Parkland school shooting in Florida have started their own movement on gun control and gun violence; they aren’t going to let the issue of gun control fall on deaf ears, and it’s about time the rest of America joined in.

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18 school shootings later and America still won’t talk about gun control