By Jack Hervela – The Collegiate Staff
On Jan. 23, the 14th shooting of 2018 took place. Two more children dead, 18 injured. Families are torn apart, and a 15-year-old who now faces life behind bars. Some will say another gun could have stopped this, others shake their head in disbelief.
Over the past 23 days, there have been 14 mass shootings, 14. That number is astonishing. The simple fact we still are having this conversation is astonishing.
How low have we sunk as a nation, as a people, that the effect of the dead only elicits social media mourning and somber remarks from the nation’s leaders? How is it that Columbine, Virginia Tech, and Sandy Hook still remain ingrained in our memories, but much past that is oddly normalized? How long will it take before we can agree that guns AND the people who use those guns are an issue?
Sane people can own guns, perfectly “normal”, functioning individuals can and should have the right to exercise that clause. Insane, completely crazy nut-jobs can also purchase guns, which is a problem.
Both of these groups can also own military grade, high-powered machines which, realistically, are made to be used by trained operators to kill who we deem “enemies of the state.” Solely blaming guns or people is one of the main hurdles in the debate of how to stop these atrocities. Stricter background checks need to be implemented, along with stronger common sense as to what a civilian really needs as a weapon.
None of the founding fathers are around to explain whether the Constitution should be taken literally or evolve with time. That being said, if any of them saw the carnage these beasts unleash upon the soil they fought tirelessly to make home and the proud Americans who reside here, they would likely reconsider what arms should be beared.
If guns are around to protect us, soldiers wielding them to protect and serve, where is the line between safety and concern? Guns may have a niche in this world, but also fulfill their duty disgustingly upon an unwilling crowd of innocent bystanders. We need more intelligent dialogue about the state of guns, their owners and the rights of citizens to safety. Until then, safety sadly seems far from reality.