“Orlando gunman Omar Mateen slaughtered 49 revelers and wounded 53 others in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S.” (Jagannathan, M 2017)
“rampage that left 17 people dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School” (Sanchez, R 2018)
As the world watches on in horror as each year hundreds of people in the US are killed or injured by mass shootings, there is one thing that is allowing this to happen. Gun laws. News headlines flood the media of America’s latest mass shooting almost weekly, making it almost impossible to not be affected by it. In 2018, America has been subject to an average of at least one mass shooting per week where statistics show that “Americans are more likely to die from gun violence than many leading causes of death” (Robinson, M & Gould, S 2018).
Living in a country that has strict gun control laws, where we have not had a mass shooting occur since 1996, I am speechless over the American government’s decision not to make radical changes in gun reform to prevent innocent people from being killed each year.
Watching on from the other side of the world, I feel helpless. Unable to produce any radical change, and like the rest of the world, we are subject to watching thousands be slain by a cause that can be completely avoided. The Gun Violence Archive shows the seriousness of this issue in America as red dots sprawl across the US, showing the overwhelming number of gun-related incidents have occurred in only 3 months.
In a series of Tweets posted by America’s President, Donald Trump, his solution to ending mass shootings in schools is to arm teachers with guns so that they can “immediately fire back if a savage sicko came to the school with bad intentions” (Trump, D 2018).
Although ignorance exists within the American government on this issue, there are organisations that are trying to make real change. Everytown is an organisation vying for stricter gun laws, provides information about the issue as well as fighting for gun law reform. With Everytown working with survivors, families, government officials and those wanting stricter gun laws, they have helped to make considerable change in working towards this issue being resolved.
With organisations like Everytown, there is hope that one day we won’t have to turn on our TV’s, open up our newspapers or scroll through the internet and find that more innocent lives have been taken by gun violence. That we won’t have to be an audience to an issue that has such a simple answer, and that strict gun laws are finally put into place. This video produced by Everytown, featuring celebrities who are fighting for change, ask us, not only the American government, but also us, the audience, “How many more?” (maigcoalition, 2012)
- Donald, T 2018, Twitter, tweet, viewed 14 March 2018, https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/966650397002813440
- Donald, T 2018, Twitter, tweet, viewed 14 March 2018,https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/966653833047887874
- Donald, T 2018, Twitter, tweet, viewed 14 March 2018, https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/966657362789568512
- Donald, T 2018, Twitter, tweet, viewed 14 March 2018, https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/966660169194229761
- Gun Violence Archive 2018, ‘Charts and Maps’, image, Gun Violence Archive, viewed 14 March, http://www.gunviolencearchive.org/
- Jagannathan, M 2017, ‘One year after Orlando’s Pulse shooting, 4 unanswered questions’, NY Daily News, 12 June, viewed 14 March 2018, http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/year-orlando-pulse-shooting-4-unanswered-questions-article-1.3240850
- maigcoalition 2012, ‘Demand A Plan to End Gun Violence’, online video, 21 December, YouTube, viewed March 14 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=16&v=64G5FfG2Xpg
- Robinson, M & Gould, S 2018, ‘There have been 30 mass shootings in the US so far in 2018—here’s the full list’, Business Insider Australia, 16 February, viewed 14 March 2018, https://www.businessinsider.com.au/how-many-mass-shootings-in-america-this-year-2018-2?r=US&IR=T
- Sanchez, R 2018, ‘Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz indicted on 34 counts, including premeditated murder’, CNN, 7 March, viewed 14 March, https://edition.cnn.com/2018/03/07/us/nikolas-cruz-indictment/index.html