The Time to Act is Now

Why We Should Increase Gun Laws

William Rhodes, Feature Editor

It feels like routine now. A mass shooting occurs and the grievances start, then back to normal a few days later. Every attack is tragic and horrible, but something needs to be done. The latest major mass shooting was in San Bernardino earlier this week. Fourteen people died and seventeen people were injured. While this shooting is developing into a possible terrorist attack, with ISIS ties, the majority of US shootings are not.

People in the United States seem to only associate terrorism with Middle Eastern or Islamic ties but that is not true. Terrorism is defined as “the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.” Most of the hundreds of shootings a year in the US stem from some sort of political agenda. These, seemingly, daily shootings are terrorism and should be called such.

We as a country, are desensitized to mass shootings. It is horrible to say that with every passing shooting we don’t feel as much as we used to. These are tragedies and are increasingly not being treated as them. This is the reason why we are not doing anything to prevent future shootings.

There are too many shootings in the United States. We only have about five percent of the world’s population, but fifty percent of private gun ownership. There are over 300 million firearms in America, that is about one for every member of the population. Almost every rich country has strict gun laws, which results in a microscopic amount of annual shootings compared to the United States. There is even a website called, which tracks mass shootings here. In 2015 we have had more mass shootings than days, and there is still a little less than a month left in the year.

Avid gun supporters argue that to fix this problem, you need to loosen gun laws and get more guns. Pouring more oil on the fire does not put it out. We should have followed Australia’s example years ago. They went through one of the largest gun reforms in history in 1996. Australia had a mass shooting, similar to the ones we seem to have commonly, and the government reacted. They passed legislation banning assault weapons and increased the barriers to own a gun. The government also agreed to buy over 700,000 firearms. You would think that something like this would have happened after Columbine or Sandy Hook, but it didn’t. That doesn’t mean it is too late. The time is now to take control of our country and safety of our people by passing tighter laws and limiting gun ownership.