Columbine, Sandy Hook, Atlanta, Las Vegas and Portland – these are just a few names in the ever-growing list of places that have hit the news with yet another shooting, another story of senseless gun violence. The story is the same, over and over and over again. For a few days, the media pays attention to the event, memorial Facebook pages are made, supporters of gun regulations call for action, and the NRA promptly makes another asinine statement that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” Then the dead are buried, the furor dies down, the media heads off to the next story about the Kardashians and once again, nothing is done.
Let’s admit it, whenever a horrific episode of gun violence happens, we are temporarily outraged. For a brief time, we fire off some petitions and perhaps share a few stories expressing our outrage, then once again, we forget. At some point, something will have to give – either through legislation or an event so utterly horrifying that even the NRA is finally forced to say “enough is enough.” There have been 74 school shootings since Sandy Hook and still nothing has been done. We don’t even have universal background checks and the gun show loophole is still wide open.
As President Obama stated “no other advanced country puts up with this,” so why do we? Is it more important that gun manufacturers are able to sell their products to as many individuals as possible, with minimal restrictions? Are our lawmakers so under the control of the radical fringe and their twisted, selfish interpretation of the 2nd Amendment that we can’t even get something as sensible as universal background checks? Is our national dialogue so completely partisan that liberals and conservatives can’t agree on legislation to help keep guns from being illegally trafficked, or keep them out of the hands of the mentally ill? Gun violence affects both liberals and conservatives, this shouldn’t be a hard thing to figure out.
Something both sides need to understand is that they aren’t going to get everything they want and the fringes of both arguments are precisely why we can’t get anything done. Background checks are not an infringement of the 2nd Amendment and closing the gun show loophole is not an infringement of the 2nd Amendment either. The few minutes it takes to fill out a 4473 is a minor inconvenience and no, the government isn’t trying to keep a database of gunowners, the NRA already does that. At the same time, banning all guns is unconstitutional and people on the left bringing that nonsensical idea into the conversation are stupid and unproductive – though I must stress they are in the minority on the left.
I’m tired of talking about gun violence and I’m tired of pulling up the news to see yet another young life snuffed out. This story out of New Orleans could have just as likely happened in Chicago, Boston or even a farming town in Kansas:
Johan Kenner, a 17-year-old Landry-Walker High School football player, dreamed of playing in the NFL and providing a better life for his family. He earned good grades and was one of the fastest players on the team, his coaches said.
Kenner was shot dead Sunday at a playground not far from his home, leaving his coaches and family devastated and planning for his burial instead of his future. A gunman opened fire around 6:45 p.m. in the 1800 block of St. Roch Avenue. Kenner was taken to Interim LSU Hospital where he died later that night, a coroner’s investigator confirmed Monday. (Source)
We as a nation should be tired of this. How many more have to die and how horrific a tragedy will have to occur before we can finally do something? The whole situation has gone beyond ridiculous and just become sad and bizarre with how we can’t seem to reach bipartisan agreement on any common sense progress – no matter what horrific headlines continue to lead newscasts across the country.
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