Gun control is a topic that is constantly plastered over social media and the news. There is clearly a line in the sand. One side is covered with red umbrellas the other blue. I will admit that nearly all of my ideologies and beliefs would be considered liberal. However, for the sake of gun control, I am willing to let go of that label – as we all should. There are so many different facets of gun control. It goes beyond the guns and delves into mental health, racism, and politics.
Whether you're liberal, conservative or moderate we cannot deny that the right to bear arms is given to all citizens – arguing over the validity of this amendment is a waste of time. I personally did not grow up around guns. My parents never had guns in the house, we never went to a shooting range.
I grew up thinking that guns would not be an active part of my life. I didn't see the need or the appeal and honestly having something in my home that could easily kill me or others made me uncomfortable. However, this is just my upbringing. I know there are millions of Americans who grew up with guns in their homes and have fond memories of hunting with families and friends. I want to make this clear – I do not want to take away your right to protect yourself or your right to hunt for sport. If that is something you find joy in, then, by all means, do it.
However, we are at a crossroad when it comes to gun control. Mass shootings aren't stopping – while each shooting has similar elements each shooter is unique but their targets seem to be the same (schools, churches, movie theaters, waffle houses etc.). Innocent people are dying and something has to be done.
Our government needs to stop standing behind their party affiliations and focus on finding a solution to the problem that does not impede on individuals second amendment rights. Banning guns is not the solution (if you want a gun I'm sure you'll find a way to get one).
Everybody seems to ignore the mental health aspect of mass shootings. If someone is in a sound mind I think it is safe to say they will not open fire in an elementary school. The government cannot monitor every gun owner (it's impossible and impedes on an individual's right to privacy). I honestly do not know what the solution is.
But I know that whenever I go into a movie theater now I plan out the best escape route in my head in case there is a mass shooting. I know that I try to go to movies at less popular times because a shooter is less likely to shoot up a movie theater that isn't as filled up. I know that I am scared to bring children into this world because I will send them to school every day wondering if they will come home to me.
I know that when I go to concerts or clubs I am hyper-aware of my surroundings. I am constantly looking for someone or something that may be out of place. I know that I am living in a constant state of underlying fear, and I don't think I am the only one.
I want everyone regardless of political affiliation to feel as safe as possible when they walk out their front door or when they send their kids off to school. I'm not going to just blame the NRA, Republican lawmakers, President Trump, or guns for mass shootings. I am going to blame all of them, even Democratic lawmakers.
The fact that mass shootings are still happening is a result of so many different facets of our government and society. We have elected officials that are supposed to make laws that protect us and make our lives better but nothing is being done. There is so much talk but no action.
To everyone who is reading this, I will ask you one thing: forget your party affiliation for a moment and think about how we can we can fix this problem so that we can keep ourselves and future generations safe.