On Feb. 14, there was much less love in the world than there should have been on Valentine’s Day. In Parkland, Florida, the 18th mass shooting happened since the beginning of 2018. It is the 1,608th mass shooting since Sandy Hook.
Nikolas Cruz, 19, open fired on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School with an AR-15.
On Feb. 15, Donald Trump sent out his standard post-shooting tweet offering condolences to the victims and the families of those who lives we lost.
“My prayers and condolences to the families of the victims of the terrible Florida shooting. No child, teacher or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an American school,” the tweet read.
But we do. We all feel unsafe. Everywhere we go, there is no safe place. Not concerts, not high schools, not elementary schools, not colleges, not night clubs, not airports, not malls, not parks. There is no place off-limits to these monsters. There is no weapon too deadly. We are not safe in this country.
I hate to break it to everyone, but your prayers and condolences will not change that lives were lost. Your prayers and condolences will not change that future lives will be taken if change does not come.
When you offered your prayers and condolences after Sandy Hook, a shooting in December of 2012 where 20 children and six adults were killed, did it prevent the 49 lives lost in the Orlando shooting in 2016? When you offered your prayers and condolences after the Orlando shooting, did it prevent the 58 lives lost in the Las Vegas shooting in October of 2017? And when you offered your prayers and condolences after the Las Vegas shooting, did it prevent the 14 lost in the Parkland shooting this past week? No, it didn’t.
Your hobby, your need to keep semi-automatic, military grade weapons in your home, is not more important than others’ lives. It is not more important than the 20 children killed in Sandy Hook who were just going to school. It is not more important than the 49 killed outside of a night club in Orlando just trying to enjoy their night. It is not more important than the 58 killed and 489 injured in Las Vegas who were having a fun night at a concert, a place meant for love, enjoyment and happiness. It is not more important than the 17 high school kids killed this week in Parkland who were also just trying to go to school. It is not more important than those lives that will never be the same because their loved one died in a mass shooting.
On Feb. 15, Tomi Lahren, FOX commentator, tweeted, “Can the Left let the families grieve for even 24 hours before they push their anti-gun agenda? My goodness. This isn’t about a gun it’s about another lunatic. #FloridaShooting.” Another lunatic, yes. Another lunatic with a semi-automatic weapon, yes. It is about a gun. It is about a lunatic who was able to get hold of a semi-automatic weapon and open fire on a high school.
The families can grieve. We grieve for the families. Our hearts are broken for those killed and injured, in every single shooting, not just last week’s. Innocent lives were lost, and that’s why change is being called for.
We call for change because prayers and condolences will not save anyone. Prayers and condolences will not prevent future lives lost. Prayers and condolences will not make this country a better, safer place.
We call for change because we are sick of Congress watching lives lost, and do not even remotely try to advocate for change. They offer their prayers and condolences and move on. They offer their prayers and condolences every single time, and yet refuse to invoke change. They refuse to help those who have lost their lives.
They know the numbers. They know the statistics. They know how many people have died, they know how many have been injured, they know how many families have lost loved ones. And yet, because some people in this country have a “hobby,” they refuse to change.
Because of a stupid amendment to the Constitution, a document ratified in 1791, long before anyone could even imagine semi-automatic weapons being available to everyday civilians, they refuse to push legislation that will save future lives.
Though nothing could ever rectify the loss of a loved one, the loss of more loved ones can be prevented. The loss of more mothers, daughters, fathers, sons and friends can be prevented, if only there was change.
No one wants to take your guns completely away. Those who are calling for change simply want stronger gun laws. Any Tom, Dick or Harry can currently walk into a gun shop and buy a gun. There needs to be a better process put in place. There needs to be more restrictions. Why should someone just be allowed to walk into a gun shop and buy an AR-15? What good does an AR-15 do any everyday civilian who has no military background whatsoever?Your hobby is not more important than lives. Your prayers and condolences will not prevent future blood-shed. The only thing that could possibly prevent this from happening again is change. Legislation, restrictions and change.