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.

 

Festival goers running toward safety.
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.

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.