Gun Violence

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Our country undoubtedly has a gun problem.

There have been 30 mass shootings in the U.S. thus far this year. Yes, you read that correctly…30 mass shootings. Last Wednesday, in Parkland Florida, a student gunman killed at least 17 innocent people. 17 kids, teachers, sons, and daughters went to school that morning and did not come back home. 17 peaceful, innocent minds will never wake up again.

The question is why? Why can’t we keep our citizens safe, and students like those brutally murdered in Florida, why can’t we keep them safe? I believe the underlying cause of our gun problem, is a culture problem. Our movies, our songs, our televisions, everything is predicated around violence, around sex, around drugs. Our youth think this is cool, and our adults think this is normal. This toxic acceptance of violence and evil is more than likely one of the reasons why our gun violence dilemma is getting so far out of hand. I believe we as Americans embrace all of the wrong things and endorse negativity instead of positivity.

What I mean by that is if we live in a society where our youth are more often than not surrounded by these dark parts of life, then it is only logical that they will grow up to be somewhat dark and tainted individuals. People and kids specifically are not born evil. Someone’s son or daughter does not come into this world wanting to kill. But after the video games, and after the music, they are molded by the environments and their experiences that twist them and their minds to the point where they completely self-destruct and wreak havoc.

This is where the gun issue comes into play. The fact that our country normalizes this deadly weapon roots into the minds of youth, as a possible solution to their problems. The fact guns are an option for anybody is a problem in and of itself. Why can’t kids and adults alike, talk and communicate their issues, why must it come to bloodshed? Why must it come to death?

In an article by the New York Times, “The AR-15 rifle used in the attack was purchased legally, at Sunrise Tactical Supply in Florida, according to a federal law enforcement official. The arrest report said Mr. Cruz purchased it in February 2017. “No laws were violated in the procurement of this weapon,” said Peter J. Forcelli, the special agent in charge for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives in Miami.” J

The gun, purchased by the 19-year-old boy, was legal.

Think about the millions of 19-year-old boys across the country and across the globe going through hardship or moments of pain. Now think about how many of them can legally get an AR-15 Rifle, which is an extremely deadly weapon. The AR-15 rifle is a semi-automatic weapon. The people selling these guns, and in particular the person who sold this exact gun to Mr. Cruz, didn’t ask enough questions and didn’t think twice about what was going to transpire. I’m not saying it was their fault, or anyone’s fault individually, but the fact of the matter is this: the commonality of these horrific acts is not a coincidence, and it is not going to change unless we change our tone in this conversation.

Yes, it is always the individual’s fault, without question. However, are we doing our best to discourage the behavior, or are we enabling? If you ask me, we are enabling, and we need to have a re-evaluation of our country’s need for guns. We need to do it now, before it’s too late.

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Sina Samali
Sina Samali is a senior at New England College pursuing a degree in Communications and a minor in Psychology. He was the Captain of the New England College Men's Soccer Team. He will be writing about International affairs and News going on in the U.S. and Abroad.

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