It’s been one week. One week since lives were lost. Dreams were crushed. And hearts were broken. One week since 49 lives were murdered, along with 53 others injured. On that same weekend, we also lost a talented, young musician, Christina Grimmie, who rose to fame from YouTube and "The Voice." The news of Grimmie’s death was particularly heartbreaking for me as I remember watching her videos on YouTube when I was younger. The worst part of all the tragedy that has taken place is that nothing has been done to reduce the rate of gun violence in the United States. Today the U.S. Senate has rejected restriction for gun violence and failed to pass all four measures that were proposed.
If I’m being honest, I’m not surprised. I’m beginning to lose hope in the leaders of our country. The politicians and congressmen that should be dedicated to helping to keep our society safe are no longer the ones that I look up to. What happens when the leaders of supposedly the “greatest country in the world” fails us time after time? I grew up thinking that America was the best place in the world. Sadly, my innocence is long gone and what I know to be true now is that America is far from great. If America is so “great” why has the U.S. had more mass shootings than any other country? Nearly one-third of the world’s mass shootings have occurred in the United States. What is even more appalling is that legislation to regulate stricter gun control laws were voted down by republicans that are paid from the NRA (National Rifle Association). Those who opposed gun control are in it for obvious reasons: money. As Hasan Minhaj has said in his recent speech at the annual Radio and Television Correspondents Associate Dinner that the NRA donates more than $3 million dollars to republican senates who voted against gun control. If this does not show how messed up our government is, I don’t know what will. The fact that so many lives have been lost yet the only thing republicans will offer are thoughts and prayers is disappointing and uncalled for.
I know this is not an easy problem to fix. No matter what consensus Congress will agree to (if any) there will always be the other counter argument. I have heard so many people say, “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” Frankly, I’m getting fed up with this saying. Yes, it is true that people kill people, but it would be a lot harder for people to commit these mass shootings without an assault rifle. I’m not saying that getting rid of guns is the solution because they are necessary. But we must do better to make sure that those how have access to their weapons have government approval to do so. The problem is not only about the gun itself, it’s about how easy it is to purchase a gun. If more frequent background checks and annual mental health screenings were taken into action, maybe this could actually do something. Whatever people are doing now is not improving the situation. We need to be open to other ideas in order to see something positive occur.
Okay, so I’ve reached the end to my rant. I don’t know how much clearer I need to be when I say that Congress must do something. Now. It will not change what happened in the past. As much as it hurts to say, it will not bring back Christina Grimmie or the 49 beautiful losses to the LGBTQ+ community or the 20 kids at Sandy Hook. It can, however, bring some closure for the families who grieve. Make it so that their deaths were not just senseless deaths and that their deaths will have had meaning. To ensure that our country will do the right thing. I’m a pretty optimistic person. Am I naïve to think that everything happens for a reason? Yes. Could we turn this cruel, senseless tragedy into something that we can overcome as a nation? Absolutely. As Beyonce said, “When life gives you lemons, you make Lemonade.” Which is exactly what I’m going to make after this post.