Gun Violence: An American Obsession

In Aurora, Colorado, July 20, 2012, James Eagan Holmes dressed in tactical clothing and attended the midnight screening of the movie “Dark Knight Rises.” There, he set off tear gas grenades and shot into the audience. He killed 12 people and injured 70 others.

On Dec. 14, 2012, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, Adam Lanza fatally shot 20 children and six staff members.

On the evening of June 17, 2015, Dylann Roof shot and killed nine people during a prayer meeting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, in Charleston, South Carolina. Senior and South Carolina State Senator Clementa C. Pinckney was one of the deceased.

On Oct. 1, 2015, 26-year-old Christopher Haper-Mercer opened fire at Umpqua Community College, leaving 10 people dead and seven wounded.

A stray bullet tragically stuck and killed 12-year old Dejah Joyner on Oct. 16, 2015 while she was in her family’s Long Island, New York home.

Gun violence is a growing issue in America. These tragic shootings, like many others, have sparked an outcry for gun control within communities around the nation. What is quickly becoming evident is America’s obsession with guns, making gun violence a new norm.

This obsession has created the mindset that gun possession is some sort of protection. However, this ignores the fact that fellow citizens are dying on city streets, in classrooms and in churches on a daily basis as a result of gun violence. According to the Gun Violence Archive, as of Oct. 26, 2015, there have been 279 mass shooting in America—with 10,791 people killed in gun incidents and 21,949 people injured in gun incidents. The American public is seemingly blind to the factual statistics and the impact gun violence has on its citizens.

Gun related crimes are terrorizing our communities and gun control laws are much needed. As stated by President Obama, “It’s the patchwork of laws that doesn’t serve us. People just go to other jurisdictions with looser laws.” Tougher national, state and local laws are needed to make it harder to get around local restrictions by simply driving across a state or city line. Not only should the president insist on action, but our elected officials should also share the same view and enthusiasm.

Too many of our countrymen, women and children are dying. They are dying because guns are too plentiful and easily obtained. To our elected leaders: guns are deadly and the citizens of this great nation are dying because you cannot make a decision to limit access. How many more men, women and children must die or be injured before you realize that American’s obsession with guns is unhealthy and dangerous?


Submitted by Wiha Powell

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