We Need Gun Control Now

We Need Gun Control Now

After Sandy Hook, we said never again, and yet here we are anyway

The evening after the Las Vegas tragedy, I was talking to another editor on the Ohio State Odyssey team. Everyone around us was filled with sadness, with hope for the future, and prayers. We were also filled with those feelings, but we were also filled with anger. I read the news that morning full of fury, shaking, and with angry tears streaming down my face because this was preventable. This didn't have to happen. Those people could have lived long, happy, beautiful lives if we had gun control laws.

After Columbine, we said never again. After Aurora, Colorado, we said never again. After Sandy Hook, we said never again. After the Pulse nightclub shooting, we said never again.

And yet, here we are anyway. Since Sandy Hook, there have been 1,518 mass shootings.

Let me reiterate that number again: 1,518 mass shootings since December 2012.

There have been 1,715 people killed in mass shootings, and 6,089 people injured. This has all been tracked by the Gun Violence Archive, which tracks gun events at which 4 or more people are shot. This database isn't complete, and probably never will be. Some events aren't reported, others are missing details. That's still a horrifyingly high number. And, gun violence is increasing. More scarily, mass shootings are increasing.

How much are they increasing? On average, there is one mass shooting for every day in the calendar year. A common argument in gun legislation debate is that you shouldn't cheapen a tragedy by bringing politics into it. However, as there is a mass shooting for every day of the year, there is never a good time to talk about the gun debate.

And you know what would stop mass shootings? Gun control.

Closing the gun show loophole. Imposing mandatory background checks when attempting to purchase a gun. Waiting periods. Limits on the number of bullets you can buy at one time.

How many people have to die before we close loopholes, before we impose tighter restrictions on guns, before we stop letting innocent men, women, and children die in senseless acts of terror? How many CHILDREN are we going to let die before we stop satisfying the right and the NRA who owns their asses? After Sandy Hook, we said never again. And yet here we are anyway.

We decided that pieces of metal were more important than our children. We decided that it should be easier to get a gun in this country than to protect your family from getting murdered in cold blood. We decided to let the NRA dictate our legislation on gun control, rather than allowing statistics to dictate legislation. We decided that the lives of our citizens, our neighbors, and our families were worth less than our ability to obtain machine guns.

After Sandy Hook, we said never again. And yet here we are anyway.

Cover Image Credit: Jonathan Metzl

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Let's Talk About The National School Walkout

The time for action is now.

Last week, students, faculty, and staff all over the country walked out of school to call for action regarding gun control in reaction to the Portland, Florida school shooting on February 14th. These individuals exercised their right to protest peacefully over the lack of progress being made on gun control in recent years from the government, and being assured there will never be an instance where schools have to be faced with a danger as a school shooter. A movement such as this is long overdue. I am pleased to see members of my generation taking a proactive stance that will make a mark in history.

It is important for those not too clear about what happened to know why the day carried so much weight. For these students, it gave them a voice to say “enough.” It is unimaginable what runs through a young teenager’s mind when they see their classmate with bullet holes in their bodies because someone used a weapon to do harm. To what extent do children have to go to school worrying if someone is going to pull out a gun? By going out today, students are saying they are no longer standing to see their classmates victimized and having to attend their funerals.

The conversation on guns has moved from interpretation of the second amendment to merely ensuring safety. Students are vying for immediate change to laws that guarantee that school shootings are never a prospect. As Parkland is a driving force in the call to place restrictions on guns, students today are paving the way forward to achieve the freedom to live where guns do not complicate that freedom. While I am set to graduate soon, it bothers me that there are probably children in this country who have to ask if they will get home safe from school. At this point, politicians have now listened to more than enough of this cry, and it is time to give us the solutions we desperately need to end the tragedy.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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Hey Greeks, Don't Put Your Letters On Your Car If You're Going To Drive Like A Prick

You're also representing your frat/sorority on the road.

I respect Greek life. I really do.

They put in a lot of work for their philanthropies, and they have a certain standard they have to meet in the public eye. However, with maintaining this standard, there is one thing that I believe many members have overlooked- that of promoting your letters and doing things that are detrimental to the chapter's image.

No, I'm not talking about wearing your frat's t-shirts on campus, or having your sorority represented on your laptop as a sticker.

What I'm getting at is simple: don't put your letters on your car if you're going to drive like an A-hole.

There's one sorority on campus I've had a lot of issues with while driving. I know that the majority of their members are probably very respectful on the road, and that there are likely other drivers in Greek affiliations that are poor drivers as well. But here's the thing: I can't associate other drivers with anything besides being a poor driver. But if you have your letters on your car, I can associate you with your frat/sorority.

I know NOTHING about this sorority. I really don't.

I don't know their philanthropy, and I think I sit next to a girl that's a member in one of my classes. But what I do know, is that when I was coming home from my parent's house during winter break, I had a girl with their letters almost merge into my car. I know that I had to get into my car from the passenger side in a parking garage because a girl with those letters had parked over the line, and had provided me roughly 8 inches of space on my driver's side. I know that I've had multiple scenarios like this occur JUST with cars with the same letters on it.

The instance that really set me off occurred last week.

I was walking back from the library and was in the middle of the crosswalk when I was almost hit by a white hatchback. When I say 'almost hit,' I do not meant that I was in the crosswalk a few feet away while she went through the stop sign. I do not mean that I was close to the crosswalk, and crossing illegally. I mean that I was in the middle of the crosswalk and had to physically jump back to avoid being hit. I could've reached out my hand and touched her car as she drove past. This girl had one hand on the wheel, was on Snapchat with the other and gave me a shooting glance and drove away after I had jumped back. And sure enough, she had her letters on the back of her car. (And yes, she was close enough that I could see which exact app she was on)

Again, I really don't know much about this sorority.

But after these instances, whenever I see someone with those letters, I wonder if it's the girl that almost hit me. Whenever I see them in Speaker's Circle, advocating for their cause, I am extremely unlikely to donate or promote their cause, simply because of the experiences I've had with them on the road.

It's irrational, but it's also a very common reaction to situations like this, and I'd advise those who put their letters on their car to drive very responsibly, as they are representing their Greek affiliations.

Cover Image Credit: Video Blocks//Screenshot

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