The recent shooting in Florida is one of a total of 18 that has occurred this past year alone. In the short two months of 2018, we have seen more gun violence than countries of the world have seen in decades. Tradition cannot prevail over the safety of our nation's youth. But time and time again, we see the citizens of this country in a love affair with guns and the prospective damage. What can we do about America's addiction to guns?
When the right to bear arms makes up the fundamental building blocks of a country, how can we break up with guns and gun violence? The biggest issue with right-wing conservatives' opinions on gun control is that they take an all or nothing perspective on the issue. Nobody is pushing for the fundamental ban on guns and automatic weapons. We are simply requesting guns to be harder to obtain than a pack of cigarettes, which presently is not the case.
The Florida shooting has also presented an increasingly infuriating double standard. Members of Congress, lobbyists, and conservatives go to great lengths to deflect the blame from guns and gun control. The narrative is shifted, especially when a white male commits the crime, to one of pity, tragedy, and sorrow–not for the victims, but for the perpetrator.
This country claims these are isolated events, with no preventable cause. However, when shootings like this one happen more frequently in the matter of months than they do in a matter of decades for other countries, it is clear there is a preventable cause. It is simply a matter of doing something about it. This country is blinded by tradition to enact any serious change, which cannot go on any longer.
We ban cigarettes for minors. We make teens go through an extensive multi-step program to obtain a driver's license. We don't allow teens under the age of 17 to view certain movies. But at any age, obtaining a military grade automatic assault rifle is as simple as going out to purchase it. If you can't see the problem with this, our gun problem starts with you. There is a cause to all mass shootings, but there is a lack of people willing to address it.
The truth is that guns kill people. Easy access to military grade assault weapons puts the killing into people's hands. Without gun restrictions, our country is placing these automatic weapons into the hands of every disgruntled citizen in our country. These aren't isolated events. These events are supported, even encouraged, by Congress, the President, and the NRA. And until we break this country's addiction with guns can we expect anything to change.