In just 24 hours, our nation saw two mass shootings that caused the tragic deaths of 31 Americans. These men and women left their homes hoping to spend their time in places that they felt safe in, but had no idea that they would not be returning.
Despite the large amount of deaths that these events brought about, it will more than likely become another number in the statistics. The men and women who lost their lives will just add up to the number of deaths caused by these massacres. The families of the victims will continue to receive tweets instead of actions that ensure other parents do not experience the same loss as them.
The same routine will be followed with each shooting this country sees ... thoughts and prayers instead of legislation and prevention. With each shooting, our lawmakers will play politics and eventually forget the victims. This same routine can and needs to be broken by passing reasonable legislation that can actually prevent the next tragedy in our great nation.
The biggest reason this country has not been able to decrease the amount of shootings each year is because our lawmakers are constantly playing politics. Lawmakers fear losing their re-election campaign or losing the support of special interest groups more than they fear the deaths of their constituents.
Both sides are playing politics when it comes to their preferred solution. The Republican Party believes that mental illness is the root of the problem while Democrats feel that common sense gun laws are the solution.
These thought processes are holding both sides of the aisle from coming to the table. Both sides are unwilling to attempt to find an acceptable compromise in order to prevent these senseless killings. This hesitation is what is giving people more and more time to carry out the next shooting.
In reality, both of their mindsets are nearly identical. It is common sense that those who are deemed mentally unfit to carry a firearm should not own one. No one in this nation would want to know that someone who is mentally unstable has easy access to a firearm. Both sides of the aisle must come to a reasonable compromise instead of wanting to influence a solution solely because it fits party lines. Ultimately, the important thing is not which solution we choose, but rather if the chosen solution is effective.
The reader of today’s column needs to realize one crucial thing: The gun control debate is not meant to strip everyone of their right to own a gun. Instead, it is calling for a revision of the right to possess a firearm. This nation has constantly revised potentially dangerous flaws in our society, from regulating the lids on medical pills or increasing security in airports.
Through these revisions, our nation prevented countless deaths. We did not throw away the entire packaging method and this nation did not remove airports completely. This same thinking should be the basis for the discussion on firearms.
Mentally unstable people are finding ways to get their hands on these weapons, that is a clear flaw in the second amendment. Fixing this flaw means preventing those who do not demonstrate good intentions or a stable mind from accessing these weapons. It does not affect responsible gun owners in any way and only affects the bad apples amongst gun owners. This solution could not be any more reasonable.
As a teenager growing up in this dark period of American history, I am tired of reading about American deaths and never reading about bipartisan gun reform.
Miguel Arceo is a student athlete at Sebring High School.