Editorial: We need to care about what happens to other people

THE EDITORIAL BOARD

By now the recent shooting in Las Vegas is old news. This does not mean, however, that it shouldn’t continue to be talked about.

As a society based so heavily in social media, we have a tendency to rage about things when they initially occur and then, as the news shies away from the horrible things that have happened and time passes, we move on.

And here we are. Another shooting, the worst one in United States history, is old news.

Why isn’t there any new gun control legislation being passed after this immense tragedy?

We have people who claim that gun control goes against the second amendment and live in a society that would sooner give “thoughts and prayers” than advocate for actual change.

It is disheartening to see how firmly people will defend their right to own a gun before considering the bigger picture. There will be hundreds of stories just like this one, and the simple truth is that these cries for more gun control fall on deaf ears. If any real, lasting change is going to occur it needs to start with those who own guns to begin with.

We truly believe our founding fathers had no intention to allow the possibility for complex, highly dangerous guns, which weren’t even fathomable when the second amendment was ratified, to be legal under their guidelines. Gun control has proven to be incredibly effective in Japan, Australia, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom. It’s about time we pay attention to that fact.

The biggest issue we currently face in the gun control debate is not over what regulations to implement. Rather, it is closing the gap between sides. The age-old argument of “if you take guns away from good people, that leaves good people unarmed and guns in the hands of criminals only,” has been beaten to death by the right.

Will there ever be a time for us to talk about gun control because America seems to certainly hope not. We, as people, have demonstrated an ability time and time again to remember tragedies for no longer than a full news cycle.

Perhaps this stems from our faulty thinking in the way we remember such events. When we read in the papers or see on the television that more innocent people have been murdered, what is the first thought that crosses our minds? Do we truly feel the pain and the loss associated with these victims, or do we simply think that, “this sure would suck if it happened to me or someone I cared about?” Those people had brothers, sisters, moms, dads, wives, husbands, people who loved them. What do you think they would be saying right now about gun control? Do you think they would want easier access to silencers? Do you think they believe the average American needs access to assault rifles?

It is much easier for us to move on from something that has occurred so far away from our own lives because while we might feel bad about it, any lasting impact on us is minimal. Mass shootings then become a vicious cycle, beginning and ending with the deaths of so many innocent Americans.

We have grown up in an America desensitized by mass shootings because they happen so often. We wake up in the morning to horrific news, and are not even surprised by it anymore. We need progression and we need it now. We need stronger gun control. We need to care about what happens to other people. We need to do more than tweet our “thoughts and prayers” and lower a flag. This is our responsibility.

The conversation of gun control can’t be discussed solely in the context of the latest mass shooting. People will forget Las Vegas in the same way they’ve forgotten what came before it, but we cannot simply stop the effort to regulate guns. We cannot accept the country that we live in, riddled with guns and funded by the NRA as a standard for our own future. We cannot sit idly by and say nothing as more people die unnecessarily. We cannot be silent. Silencers are for guns.

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