I would like to say that this is in light of the recent horrors that occurred in Roseburg, Oregon, but that wouldn't be fully accurate. It would be more appropriate to say "in light of over 200 school shootings that have occurred in the United States since Columbine."
The first time I heard about a school shooting, it was 2007. My parents, aunt, and maternal grandfather are all Virginia Tech alums, and were deeply affected by the campus massacre. I remember wearing my VT sweatshirt to school the next day, and the shock my fellow 7th-graders expressed after I explained the legacy it had with my family. After learning about the Umpqua Community College shooting on October 1st, I had a conversation in the kitchen with one of my roommates, who happens to be an International student. Sounding confused, she asked me why America was the only country that was "like this" about guns. To be honest, I didn't have an answer for her. I didn't have a logical explanation why, despite the multiple shootings that occur every year, a distinct lack of gun control legislation still remains.
It's time to face the facts: the United States is the only developed nation in the world where mass shootings are the norm. Australia enacted strict gun control after a mass shooting in 1996- and hasn't had a single one since. England also drastically reduced their shooting deaths with stricter gun legislation. The University of Alabama Criminal Justice Department's Adam Lankford found in his studies of mass shootings that countries with higher rates of gun ownership reported a greater number of mass shootings per capita. In other news, water is wet.
Even this article from The Onion, a satirical magazine, hit a little too close to home: "'No Way To Prevent This,' Said the Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens."
President Barack Obama's statement to the nation after the UCC shooting said it all. Gun massacres have become routine. He is quoted as saying, "this is a political choice we make, to let this happen every few months in America."
Before anyone screams that it's "not a GUN issue, it's a MENTAL HEALTH issue," I'm going to stop you right there. Yes, mental health is part of the problem, but news flash: other countries have mental health issues too. What they do not have is the outdated gun obsession we do.
"But it's a FUNDAMENTAL AMERICAN RIGHT" you say. Funny, I thought my right to not be senselessly murdered in a mass shooting was more of a right.
I can hear some Confederate flag-waving, Right Wing gun fanatic loading up their ammunition to attack me in the comments, but I literally cannot emphasize how much I do not value your opinion. Why? Because you're wrong.
I'm not saying there aren't responsible gun owners in the world. I'm sure they exist, but right now, the irresponsible gun owners have officially tipped the scales. This issue has escalated to the point that denying stricter gun legislation is completely, utterly idiotic.