Biting the Bullet on Gun Control

Once again, I find myself searching. Searching for words, searching for answers, searching for comfort. Once again, I feel confused, scared, and angry. Once again, I find the whole situation sickeningly unsurprising.


It feels, at this point, that we’re just going through the motions. Tragedies happen with such startling frequency that the American people seem to forget what they actually mean. 


It seems after these tragedies we always return to the question: How do we stop this? A recent study by Reuters suggested that 69% of Americans want stronger restrictions on firearms including 57% of Republicans. However, Republican lawmakers continue to be the representatives and senators who reject the proposals to make stricter gun control laws. In fact, many even go as far as to claim that more guns would alleviate the problem, an argument only 10% of Americans agree with. Unfortunately, many politicians are bankrolled by the gun lobby and will lose financial backing if they step out of line and support legislation that would cripple the NRA, according to a Vox report. In 2018, the NRA spent over $5 million dollars to keep Congress from passing anti-gun legislation. Despite recent financial struggles and massive restructuring to avoid bankruptcy, the National Rifle Association still manipulates Congress to do its bidding. The NRA’s recent woes have been widely documented, the mismanaged lobbying group finds itself hemorrhaging money in court to the families of victims, according to The Trace, a non-profit group which documents and publishes stories about gun violence in America. Recently, the NRA shut down its propaganda wing, NRATV before parting ways abruptly with their former second-in-command, Christopher Cox. Even with these signs of failure, Congress still steadfastly stands by the group which has had four board members resign in recent months.


From July 28th to August 4th, there were four mass shootings in America, resulting in nearly 40 deaths and more than 60 injuries. The events rocked America to its core. One of the most frightening facts about the killings were that two of them lasted less than a minute each, yet in these 60 seconds, 3 and 9 people were killed, respectively. However, after this bloody and horrific week, Congress has still failed to pledge to take action.


After a week as horrifying as this, it is not only frustrating but disheartening that legislators continue to drag their feet on measures to protect people from the danger of gun violence, pandering to their constituents . Time after time, the same pattern emerges, members of our government offer empty “thoughts and prayers”, find a scapegoat, pledge to take action by focusing on those false issues before allowing enough time to elapse where people’s outrage has died down before scrapping those plans and leaving the law unchanged.


At times, it may seem useless to push for gun control in the face of the seeming juggernaut of the NRA. However, with our neighbors perishing all around us, push on we must. Without the voices of those who want change, we would remain static. Although it may seem like an uphill battle, all hills have peaks and, eventually, justice and reform, for all of those who have died, will come.


This article is dedicated to all of the victims of gun violence in America. May you be the guiding lights that lead us towards the promise of a brighter, safer tomorrow.