I watched my TV screen in horror, my now cold tea forgotten in my hands. I immediately texted my friends the news, telling them how scared I was by it, and one by one they replied, apologizing and agreeing with me. And that was it. But I couldn’t shake this feeling, so I replied by saying: “I guess these kinds of things don't really feel real unless you were there.”
Unfortunately shootings in the United States are not uncommon nowadays, 93 Americans are killed EVERYDAY by a gun. We hear about this all the time, and as bad as it sounds, we’ve almost grown immune to hearing about it on the news. However this one (to me), was different. It was different because I was there. Today, January 6th as of 1:19 pm, 9 people have been shot in the Ft. Lauderdale airport, and 4 are dead.
I was at this airport less than a week ago. My family and I went on a cruise for the holiday break. My family consists of my mom, my dad, me, and my three YOUNGER siblings. They are only 9 and 12, and the thought that this tragedy could’ve occurred while we were there is absolutely terrifying.
And with this in mind, I bring up an issue that is highly debatable and that we always hear about: stricter gun laws.
Now I agree with people how want to use a gun to defend themselves, their homes, and their families. Sure, a simple pistol is fine. But why would you ever possibly need a military grade weapon? The M134 General Electric Minigun can fire up to 166 times per second. Let me say that again for you, 166 TIMES PER SECOND .
Why, in any way, would that be necessary to defend yourself?
By allowing weapons like these to be legally purchased, we are increasing the amount of mass shootings like the Ft. Lauderdale incident that occur every year.
According to Psychology Today, there IS a correlation between stricter gun laws and lower homicide rates, not only in the United States, but internationally as well.
And by stricter gun laws I don’t mean taking your guns away. A false rumor is that people who want stricter gun laws want to take your guns away and that couldn’t be further from the truth. We don’t want another prohibition (remember, they banned alcohol but the rate of consumption of alcohol actually increased). Stricter gun laws just mean providing more thorough background checks so that guns can’t fall into the wrong hands. We should employ a criminal and mental health background check, a required safety course, and a regular renewal requirement. Just like driving a car, the right to own a gun is not absolute, it is conditional. Just like you wouldn’t let someone drive without having a license, someone should NOT be able to own a gun without meeting the above requirements.
I just hope that this time the American public and government realize how easily gun violence can be prevented.