By MEHAR NANGIA
On October 24, a 15-year-old high school student shot five students in his school cafeteria. Sadly, it seems like, with a few changes here and there, we see this same headline every week. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 14,827 murders occurred in the United States in 2012, but in Afghanistan, the number was less than two thousand. Looking at those statistics alone, which country would be the war zone?
There are around 300 million guns in the US according to CNN. That number is nearly equivalent to that of the population. Hence, when people ask why so many Americans are killed by guns, the answer should be very simple.
I know what you are probably going to say next, and I get it: “People kill people. Guns do not.” But if Adam Lanza only had a knife at Sandy Hook Elementary School on that December morning, maybe many of those innocent kids would still be with us today
We are one of the richest countries in the world, so it makes no sense to me how we can justify the 40 shootings that occurred in slightly over 40 hours in Chicago during Memorial Day weekend in 2012 as stated by the Huffington Post. Since then, the only major Chicago legislation related to guns at all was the Chicago Public School District’s decision to close over 40 schools. All this legislation, however, has only made our shooting problem worse. By closing down more schools in the inner city, the legislation fueled gangs. Most of those kids living there could no longer go to school, so some of them picked up guns and joined a gang as they were left with no other opportunity.
Now, you would think that typical, anti-gun legislation Republicans were in charge of Chicago’s municipal government at that time, but that is incorrect. Chicago’s mayor is Rahm Emanuel, former Chief of Staff to President Obama and a long-time Democrat. It is despicable that some Democrats, despite being the party typically known for pushing gun control legislation would choose to sit back and watch rather than take real action for gun control legislation when they have the opportunity.
Some say that the politicians legitimately tried, but even if they did, their efforts are completely incorrect. America simply has a gun culture. We cannot ignore that. It is in our constitution, and it is something that many argue is intrinsically American. So when extreme liberals started talking about taking all guns away, it scared some Americans. So what did they do when they got scared? They went and donated to the National Rifle Association (NRA). The donations do nothing but help the pro-gun activists even more, further hindering any progress on gun control legislation.
So now how do we really fix the problem? We need to appeal to everyone’s moderate, sane middle ground, a small area where even the most liberal Democrat agrees with the most conservative Republican. That small area is smart and comprehensive background checks. That small area is increasing funding for mental health facilities. That small area is keeping schools open so kids get off the streets. That is the small area that gun control activists need to highlight if they want to get anything done. America was built on compromise, and America will grow only on compromise.