America Needs Stricter Gun Laws
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Politics and Activism

After Two Mass Shootings Within 24 Hours, America Needs More Than Your "Thoughts And Prayers"

There have been 251 mass shootings in the U.S. in 216 days. Thoughts and prayers alone clearly aren't working.

After Two Mass Shootings Within 24 Hours, America Needs More Than Your "Thoughts And Prayers"

El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio have become some of the latest cities involved in mass shootings.

Saturday morning, a gunman open fired in a shopping center, killing 20 people and injuring 26 others. Police have since identified Patrick Wood Crusius as a suspect and believe that he was the only shooter.

Almost 20 minutes earlier, there was a post online that authorities are working to confirm whether or not was written by the suspect. In the "Manifesto" there are passages on railing against the "Hispanic invasion" of Texas, as well as what appeared to be a few short sentences showing support for the gunman who opened fire at two New Zealand mosques in March, killing 51 people.

El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen said: "Right now we have a manifesto from this individual that indicates to some degree, it has a nexus to potential hate crime."

Former Texas Congressman Beto O'Rourke also commented on the attacks.

"Yes it's the gun laws, yes it's the universal background checks, and yes we should stop selling weapons of war to our communities," O'Rourke told reporters. "But I think we also have to confront this hatred that I have never seen in my lifetime."

A little over 12 hours later, another shooting occurred around 1 a.m. outside of the nightclub district in downtown by a lone suspect, who has not been publicly identified by authorities.

Nine people were killed and at least 27 injured. It was the fourth shooting in the past week. And number 251 this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive. Even with those numbers showing just how common (unfortunately) that it is in the US the news is still shocking.

Thoughts and prayers are nice, but they aren't enough.

After the attack in the mosque in March, New Zeland took steps less than a month later to pass a gun reform bill that bans nearly all military-style semi-automatic and assault rifles. If we had taken that action instead, would the attack this weekend have happened? The unfortunate answer is that we can't know for sure, but it is possible.

I don't think that we should simply ban all guns. But, maybe it's time to take a look into making it hard (or nearly impossible) for civilians to have the ability to purchase military-grade weapons, like the ones used in many of the most recent mass shootings.

How many more people are going to die before we take the type of action that was seen in New Zeland?

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