It seems nearly every day one can turn on the news and see a new mass shooting that has taken place in the United States. Every time someone leaves their house, whether they're going to the school, the movies, a nightclub, a concert, or to the hospital to visit an ill family member, there is no guarantee they will come back home. In the U.S. this year, there have been almost as many mass shootings as there have been days in this year (316 and 324, respectively).
The most recent mass shooting took place November 19th at Mercy Hospital in Chicago, Illinois.
A gunman shot and killed Dr. Tamara O'Neal at Mercy Hospital in Chicago. He then entered the hospital lobby and continued to fire, killing Dayna Less, a 25-year-old pharmacy assistant, and one of the responding officers, Officer Samuel Jimenez.
Hospitals are places meant to save lives, not take them in a senseless act of violence.
I realize that yes, people die in hospitals due to unfortunate medical events, but on-duty doctors, pharmacy assistants, and police officers should never be included in those deaths. Because the offender was able to carry a gun into a hospital after a domestic incident in the parking lot, three innocent working individuals lost their lives. This could not have been prevented by thoughts and prayers. This could not have been prevented from more people carrying guns. This could have been prevented, however, by stricter gun laws.
Many people are wondering "If the first 315 mass shootings this year weren't enough to push for gun reform laws, maybe this one will do it?" The answer is, probably not. The most deadly mass shootings are usually carried out by some type of assault rifle. Although this shooting was not one of the most deadly, and not with an assault rifle, it still brings up the issue of gun control in the U.S. How many people have to die before our government decides to take action? Is money from the NRA more important than the nearly 13,000 lives lost this year by shootings?
It seems that's the case. The American government has taken little action to fix the gun laws currently in place. The American people are used to this at this point, and while many are protesting against gun violence and in favor of stricter gun laws, a lot of Americans resort to sending their "thoughts and prayers" when yet another mass shooting takes place. While it is kind to send condolences to the families of the victims, "thoughts and prayers" aren't going to bring their loved ones back nor help stop the next mass shooting from happening. We need action, we need stricter gun laws, and we need everyone's help to get there.
Contact your local government officials! Not sure how? Here's a list of senators and a list of members of the House of Representatives by state and their contact information. Call them! E-mail them! Let them know how you feel about gun laws and tell them you want a change in the U.S.!
In addition, the brand 'TOMS' has started a campaign to end gun violence. All you do is go on to their website, enter your information, and a physical postcard is sent to your state representative urging them to pass life-saving legislation to require universal background checks to carry a weapon.