“There are two sides to every story” claimed a man in my politics class defending the National Rifle Association to my professor who was on the verge of tears thinking about how her kindergarten-aged son has “bathroom drills” in which the entire class hides in the bathroom in case of a mass shooter entering his school.
It has been a month since the Parkland High School mass shooting and still the country is as divided as it was since the Civil War, in my opinion.
What other issue has had such an impact on the nation that millions of citizens have their own solutions. While most want gun reform, they disagree as to how to go about the reformation. Should guns be banned completely? Should the government have the right to check on those who do have guns? What about licensing?
There are evidently many paths to choose from involving the ownership of guns. I wish that claiming that the path we are on now is the wrong path is a statement that is not considered bold, yet it is. With mass shootings happening at least once a year, there is not much evidence needed that politicians have to institute reform. All that they need now is the incentive to be on the humane side of this fight. Politicians act under pressure, and that pressure is from the people that elected them to represent the country. When the people are being killed, there needs to be action.
On March 14, the one month anniversary of the Parkland Shooting, high school students across the United States walked out of class in protest to the lack of the reform. These students stand with Parkland, and understand the gravity of the situation. Violet Massie-Vereker, student from my alma mater, Pelham Memorial High School, began the movement of “#menext?” which eerily concretes the truth: any student, any person, could be shot and killed at any time by a person who is mentally unstable or angry at a situation. Some people act on impulse, and with an access to an assault rifle, that impulse might as well be revenge. No one is guaranteed safety in this tumultuous time. The Republican party backs an ideology of less governmental restrictions and more freedom for the citizens of America. Unfortunately, they have yet to realize the anarchical, Lord of the Flies-like impact the hands-off approach is having on the American public when it comes to the regulation of guns.
People are being killed. It is time that politicians actually represent our right to live, rather than our right to own weaponry.