The generation of mass shootings
I remember about seven years ago, I was at the urgent care with my mom. I don’t remember what I was there for, some sort of illness or sports injury, but that doesn’t matter.
What matters is I looked up at the TV in the waiting room, and saw nothing but pure sadness as the news broke that a shooting had occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School, less than 100 miles from my parents' home in Rhode Island.
I was a senior in high school then, and thought that this would be the end. That as a society we would rally together and people would for once and for all realize that we need to do some serious work when it comes to gun laws.
But that's far from the case.
Since Sandy Hook’s shooting there have been over 1,000 mass shootings in the United States. That number is unacceptable.
Just a couple of weeks ago we woke up to news of two mass shootings in the United States and when a country averages hundreds of mass shootings per year, it means that there is extreme flaws.
I’ve been a journalist in Southern Minnesota for the last 2 years. Kasson is the biggest community I have covered.
But yet I have written countless stories about schools revamping its security to help prevent senseless violence in its schools and to keep kids safe.
In fact the first month I was at the DCI, K-M held an active shooter training to prepare regional law enforcement staff, and the school, in case a tragic event like a school shooting was to take place.
While I think that having measures in place to keep our kids and staff members safe at schools, the reality is that we shouldn’t have let our society get within breathing distance of that point and we certainly can’t let it get any more out of hand.
I find it fascinating as someone that studied political science for four years that somehow this debate of keeping our communities safe has come down to such a political ideology debate.
In a country that was founded on compromise, that has made compromises through the almost 250 year history and has repealed and changed laws constantly, there is no reason why we can’t get to the point where people can still have their rights to bear arms, but yet can’t own the same guns or more powerful guns than the ones in the hands of our soldiers.
In my view I think there needs to be a lot more work done in addition to just banning war style guns.
When I was in college, and we would examine what the issue of gun control, mass shootings, and other related issues, one of the best arguments that came up constantly is that no gun pulled the trigger itself.
What I always took it as meaning is that although gun laws are a major problem in our country, the truth is we need to do more to help people who are suffering from mental illness, or other issues, to help prevent anyone from getting anywhere near the point that they want to go and do heinous things to others for no reason at all.
As a country we have an obligation to do more to help people who are suffering from mental illnesses just like if they are suffering from the flu.
But at the end of the day, those people and anyone from that matter shouldn't’ have large stockpiles of military grade, or assault weapons.
I think I speak for many people in my generation, and for the generations before me and after me in saying that as a society we are sick and tired of waking up to the news that someone, somewhere killed large numbers of innocent people.
As Americans we all need to go to the table when we’re having discussions with our neighbors, friends and families with open minds, and hearts and understand that compromise is not only warranted in solving the problem it is absolutely undoubtedly necessary in order to prevent senseless tragedies going forward.
Our country can have common sense laws, and still cherish the Second Amendment. It just takes some compromises.
For our politicians, I hope that those who take money from the NRA to vote in their favor will instead stand-up and vote in favor of the safety and security of the American people.
For the politicians who have stood up to gun lobbyists, I encourage you to continue so, so when I have kids they don’t have to live in a generation that is still fighting for their lives to stay safe in schools and everywhere for that matter!