These past few weeks have been a tumultuous time in our nation's history in regards to the prevalence of gun violence across the United States. On November 7th, 12 people were killed in a mass shooting at Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, California, with the suspect identified as 28-year-old USMC veteran Ian Long. This tragedy joined the more than 308 mass shootings that have occurred in the United States within the year 2018 alone.
A fair majority of these atrocities have occurred in populated areas, perpetrated by a male shooter with an appetite for destruction and a lack of regulation regarding how he was able to obtain a weapon without proper registration and licensing. In light of such a serious amalgamation of horrific instances, pressure has come down from survivors and witnesses of these crimes to control the flow of the firearms industry so that those who are not responsible enough to handle them with care don't retain possession of these killing machines.
Typically, the NRA (which claims to be a noble entity protecting the sacred doctrine of the 2nd Amendment as guaranteed by our Constitution) has routinely fired back at those who dare to argue against the obvious proliferation of guns into our culture and the subsequent massacres that result from a lack of acknowledgement of the threat of gun violence.
They claim that the only thing that can stop a "bad guy with a gun" is a "good guy with a gun" — except that in the only recent instance that occurred, the good guy was killed by police. It's almost as if the NRA is categorically terrified of any attempts to reduce expenditure and utilization of firearms, as potentially evidenced by their almost ludicrous donations to Republicans who lobby against any premise of gun control.
I am no expert on the usage and proper treatment of firearms. I am not well-versed in gun safety, the history of gun culture in the United States or in any other nation, or the economic benefits and downsides of a thriving firearms industry within our national economy.
However, I cannot help but feel that we as a nation cannot ignore our glaring gun problem, especially since our country has homicide rates approximately six times higher than that of Canada, one of our closest neighbors in terms of development. I also cannot help but feel outraged that the NRA would dare to treat the doctors and healthcare providers that work to save the lives of shooting victims with such utter contempt by telling them to "stay in their lane" — as if their opinions on the issue do not matter, despite the fact that they are the ones picking up the pieces of their patients after the smoke has cleared and telling the families of those who have died how exactly their kin was murdered.
This is as much a public health and medical issue as much as it is a political issue, and as such, the opinions of health providers deserve to be weighed in on this matter in order to reach a comprehensive conclusion regarding the nature of these horrific realities.