What do Texas Southern University, Northern Arizona University and Umpqua Community College have in common? They all had students riddled with bullets, blood splattering their halls of education and each occurring with not even a full week passing by. Want to know what is scary? This could happen at Norwalk Community College. You, a fellow student and any staff members could be shot if someone decides to inflict harm.
It enrages me beyond comprehension. I am pissed off at this country’s inability to do anything but offer solutions, which do not address the issue at hand. How many parents must hold their bloodstained baby boy or girl before we wake up from this deranged nightmare? How many I say?!
No more thoughts given. No more prayers prayed. No more callous “stuff happens” attitude. No more! I could speak my truth quietly and clearly or express my anger in a profanity-laced tirade, neither will break through to those who are ignorant to regularly scheduled mass shootings that seems to happen every few months.
There is a man, Samuel Wurzelbacher, who once said “Your dead kids don’t trump my Constitutional rights!” So this is where we have regressed to, where the pages of the constitution are simply morgue blankets to cover the deceased? Have we really devolved as an American society where we are all accustomed to the belief that mass shootings is the price we pay to sustain our freedoms? Because that seems to be the prevailing attitudes which certain people have if it means they can keep their guns no matter the cost.
We got the NRA using considerable political capital on emasculating Congress into not passing any form of gun regulation because it will hurt their bottom line. You got many like, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown who said that now is not the time to discuss gun regulation.
The same was said when twenty children were massacred, and Sandy Hook was painted red with the blood of innocent children. Many choose not to talk about it, many moved on from the topic until the next mass shooting occurred.
The time to talk is now! The time to act is now! Prayers, thoughts and inaction have done nothing but result in death. Gun regulation and laws are what is required to prevent more needless bloodshed. No other industrialized countries have the same issues as the U.S. does. We cannot blame the mentally ill, video games or other scapegoats commonly used. We are not the only country with people who are mentally ill. We are not the only the country with people who play video games.
Now, some of you are already balking at my suggestion of gun regulation. I never said ban guns. I said regulate guns. Banning and regulating are not one and the same. The well-used argument that regulating guns is moot because criminals will not follow laws anyway. If that was the case then why do we have any laws? Why not remove all laws, set aflame the constitution and live in total anarchy since laws are moot because criminals will not follow laws.
We regulate cars, we regulate over the counter medication and we regulate many other things. Why are guns the exception? Why must the solution be arming everyone? Add more guns to the equation sounds like a bad, bad idea.
“The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun?” You know, that only works if the supposed bad guy doesn’t shoot first or that the person with the gun knows how to handle a device that is meant to cause a great deal of damage.
Shooting at a gun range and shooting at someone in a highly charged deadly situation is vastly different. You wear headsets to block out the sound, you’re calmly shooting at a paper target and your life is not at risk. Obviously, you are going to hit the bull’s-eye with far more accuracy rather than in an environment such as Virginia Tech/Newtown style mass shooting.
Your shaking hands are sweaty, nerves are shot and survival related thoughts cloud your head. You hear gunshots, hysteric screams and sobbing cries of help and you have a gun to end it. You have an opportunity to end the massacre but your survival instincts urge you to save yourself. You see the shooter! You take the shot and … missed. You get shot, you are bleeding and then you are the good guy with a gun.
You do not experience those terrifying emotions at a gun range. It is a coin toss scenario. We have people in our armed forces who are trained to run towards bullets in the chaos of battlefield. Even with all their training, many get shot and killed on the battlefield before they shoot who shot them first.
Having a bunch of people with gun whose only experience of shooting a weapon is in a gun range does not inspire confidence.
Here is what we can do NOW, to protect our communities from mass shootings:
There is a program referred to as the Alice Program. The ALICE Training Institute states that the program “increases our children’s and employees’ odds of survival during a violent intruder event. ALICE, which stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate, is a post Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook strategy that goes beyond the conventional lock-down.”
This program trains people on how to deal with an active shooter and increase their chance of survival. If we as a country do not have the testicular fortitude to regulate guns then we need to implement a version of this program on a nationwide basis. We need to make sure our kids and educators have the best chance of surviving a hell that many have already experienced.
We should also install metal detectors sensitive enough to recognize guns at places most at risk for mass shootings. Of course those with concealed weapon permits will notify the right people as to not have their rights infringed upon or be molested by security needlessly.
I would normally say we should establish a more stricter, rigorous and loophole free gun regulation but again, we as a nation don’t have the testicular fortitude to establish such laws. It is frustrating to have a Congress that is at a standstill with this issue while people are dying. It is even more frustrating that people care more about their guns than the lives of others.
I am frustrated and tired. I simply want less bloodshed. What is stopping us from having that? That, I cannot answer.
Illustration by Elyjah Mcvay