Arcadia High School

Opinion: Bigotry causing a culture of casualties due to gun violence

The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states that all citizens have the right to bare arms, albeit in modern times, this privilege has manipulated into uses for terrorism and mass shootings, not for the initial objective of protection.

On Oct. 1, 22,000 people attended the Harvest Festival– a country music festival and concert. At 10:08 p.m., there was an encumbering sound of gunfire. Fractions of a moment later, the realization was made by the festival goers that these noises are not the result of Las Vegas night life, they are gunshots.


 Opinion: Bigotry causing a culture of casualties due to gun violence
Festival goers running toward safety.
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An outline of where the Harvest Festival shooting took place and the location of Paddock.

Stephen Paddock was shooting from the safety of his suite on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay; murdering 58 innocent people, and injuring more than 500. It was later declared that this massacre is the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S history. The question is: could this have been prevented?

The answer lies within America’s government and their decision to idle or take actions to make gun purchases more available to the public: both decisions that have led to an immense amount of casualties caused by mass shootings every day. In fact, the Harvest shooting was not the only shooting that day. Thirteen thousand miles away in Lawrence, Kan. two men and a woman were killed by gun violence; two other entities were injured in a separate mass shooting incident.

screen shot 2017 10 05 at 5 14 19 pm Opinion: Bigotry causing a culture of casualties due to gun violence
A scale of U.S mass shootings in 2017

It is laws, such as the one that President Trump signed in February to make it easier for the mentally ill to buy guns and rifles, that causes someone to be able to possess 42 guns and bring 23 of them into a hotel without falter. It is America’s choice to be an outlier in a world where countries such as Australia, Britain, and Canada have demonstrated that it is achievable to introduce laws and methods against gun violence that have measurably decreased their mass shootings to zero.

America’s political parties attempting to dissolve or preserve the Second Amendment is causing them to encumber themselves with bigotry, thus wasting time which can be used to initiate stricter gun violence laws so what happened at Pulse, Harvest, and numerous other mass shootings will never occur again in America.

Former President Obama explained this idea by stating,”So we know there are ways to prevent it . . . And each time this happens I’m going to bring this up. Each time this happens I am going to say that we can actually do something about it, but we’re going to have to change our laws. And this is not something I can do by myself. I’ve got to have a Congress, and I’ve got to have state legislatures and governors who are willing to work with me on this.”

Matt Bevin, the Republican Governor of Kentucky, tweeted in response to the Harvest shooting,”You can’t regulate evil.” Perhaps the government cannot, but by realizing the malice effects of their bigotry when it comes to the right of baring arms, they can put their differences aside and see that establishing laws, along with more regulations, is the best option to prevent further loss of innocent life.


  • Reply Douglas Campbell October 10, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    Whose bigotry is causing this culture of violence? The shooter at the Harvest Festival had no manifesto, had no religion, and no politics that the police have been able to ascertain. He would not have been caught by any gun registry dealing with the mentally ill, for he was never classed as mentally ill (even though we now know that he must have been). Note that the laws changed by President Trump would deny that right for perfectly sane veterans who own guns but who can no longer care for themselves. Such a definition of mental illness came courtesy of the Democrats, whom I would not trust to understand or keep ANY of the liberties outlined in the Bill of Rights. They would restrict a right to speech, of the press, of religion, and of defense. Indeed, if you look at your own writing above, and you talk of “bigotry” — well, bigot is what the left now calls anyone with whom they do not agree.

    Do you want to know what the people of Chicago call something like the Harvest Festival? They call it “April”. and Chicago has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation, and if you were to call many of those involved in the shootings bigots, BLM would be down on you like a ton of bricks for claiming that anyone who isn’t white is a bigot.

    Whatever bigotry is, it isn’t necessarily someone who exercises their second amendment rights to defend themselves. Here is a prime example:
    Is the Asian woman in the video who defended herself against three home invaders a bigot? I don’t think so. What say you?


    • Reply Sarah Wang October 10, 2017 at 10:26 pm

      Thank you for your comment. I completely understand that you hold different beliefs than me and I immensely respect them, albeit you might have misinterpreted why I chose to use the word bigotry to describe the epidemic of gun violence in America. To address your comment, it is correct that Paddock would not have been detected as mentally ill, during the time when he purchased the guns, but the fact that he was able to purchase 42 of them and bring 23 into a hotel, filled with people, without any falter, shows the need for more restrictions on purchasing guns, not the opposite.
      I used the word bigotry to describe how the government as a whole should not allow their differences and their intolerance toward each others’ opinion, on the Second Amendment, overshadow a malignant problem in this country: the immense amount of casualties, the deaths of friends, loved ones, family members, caused by something which can be resolved. Australia, Britain, and Canada have demonstrated that it is achievable to introduce laws and methods against gun violence that have measurably decreased their mass shootings into oblivion. I believe that there is a fine line between unalienable rights, granted by God, and rights made by man to protect themselves, which is now being used to hurt others, along with manipulating into a motif for violence. In response to your question, no, she is not a bigot. The event of her having to use a gun, to protect herself, would not have occurred if criminal rates dwindled. This can be accomplished as the violent culture America has been fostering decreases, something I believe that can start by halting what helps produce violence: guns. These are just my opinions, I completely respect yours, even if they differ. I think that, during times like these in America, it is crucial to remember that although one might not advocate for another’s opinion, looking at it from their perspective and really understanding their beliefs can help end the tribulations and pain caused by bigotry.


      • Reply Douglas Campbell October 12, 2017 at 4:18 am

        You are welcome. I note that you talk of “gun violence” and do not talk of “truck violence” or “airliner violence” or even “fertilizer violence” — that last being how Timothy McVeigh destroyed an entire building and everyone in it. If you truly want to put limits on things, then certainly limiting the number of trucks, airliners, and sacks of fertilizer would go just as far in terms of limiting deaths. I submit that putting limits on things penalizes legitimate users of those things. In my last comment I noted that a gun, an instrument of stand-off defense, makes a woman who is small in stature fully the equal of even three larger men intent on harming her. So, guns do serve a purpose.

        I would not purchase 42 guns, but you are obviously thinking of putting a limit on the number of guns one can purchase. At present, the 2nd Amendment does not allow such a limit — just as the 1st Amendment does not allow for limiting the number of newspapers a person can own, or the number of speeches they can give. Whatever limit you would propose must not attack the core value enshrined in the 2nd Amendment — a right of private defense. If you are going to propose a limit, be concrete about it, for merely stating you are against gun violence is not going to fly.

        Bigotry is personal intolerance toward differing opinions. I am in Australia right now, and crime is sky-high here. Strong-arm robberies are commonplace, and the reason has to do with the fact that citizens here have been stripped of their private right of self-defense. In the briefing the local police gave to me as part of my visa obligation, they indicated that even defending myself with a knife or mace or pepper spray would subject me to prosecution, even against an assailant with a gun; I am allowed no tool to defend myself while I am here, and the area in which I am staying has fairly high crime. This is not what I would want America to become. This is “bigotry” of a different sort, and it’s a kind that Australians are starting to hate.

        Neither you nor I should call such positions bigotry — the better word is “dogma” — which is defined as “a set of definitions laid down by authority as incontrovertably true”. That is a better word because authority here means “Government”.

        American progressives, like Australia, have a dogma concerning firearms (“none should exist in a truly good world”), while American conservatives like me have another dogma concerning firearms (“the world will never be truly good, and firearms assure that the meek good can survive among the evil mighty ones in this world as it is”). So whose dogma is more aligned with how people behave in the world? I think mine is. Look again at that woman, and tell me that zero firearms would be better. Here, as in Australia, the law-abiding would give up their firearms, and that would leave the evil ones with firearms. In the presentation I mentioned, the fact that criminals have guns was front and center.

        America does indeed have problems that the Canadians, the Australians, and the British have not endured until recently. We have a “diverse” culture — in which groups are encouraged to hate or detest other groups. The encouragement is by people in search of votes. If you want to talk of the bigotry of government, that’s the poster child. Each Government — liberal or conservative — banks on the deliberate otherness — the non-homogeneity, the non-assimilation which our culture now prides itself upon. Canada is assimilated; you must behave like a Canadian to live there. Great Britain — assimilated until recently — but the rise in terrorism has forced Britishers to vote for Brexit and reassertion of their borders and assimilation. Australia — assimilated; you must behave like an Australian. The Australian Customs and Border Police do not allow illegal immigrants to work here; when they are discovered (and it’s easy to discover them, because Australia is far less populous than America, and rights we take for granted are not present in Australia), they are deported. Of course, given that Australia has no land borders, means that they must give each deportee a plane ticket back…. I find this interesting, given that Australia has very low population density, but they feel that immigrants who don’t obey the immigration laws are just as apt not to obey the other laws of the nation. But Australia has recently armed its police with powerful weapons in response to terrorist incidents on its soil:

        So we are actually better than the Australians in this regard; they have no Dreamers, for in Australia, citizenship is not automatic; one parent must be a citizen for a child to be a citizen. Be careful what you ask for, for it may come true in many more ways than you want.


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