The Time for Change is Now

Carter Elliot, Staff Columnist~

Let me start my saying that I am in no way, shape or form anti-gun. I grew up on a dairy farm where shooting water bottles and clay pigeons was a very common occurrence. I even shot competitive shotgun when I was sixteen.

However, since 1991 we have had eight mass shootings, resulting in the deaths of 229 people. The scariest part of this statistic is that 193 of the total 229 people killed in mass shootings in the United States have been since 2007. Let me make this even more clear: 84 percent of all people killed in mass shootings since 1991 were killed in the past decade. This stark rise in mass shootings has caused much chaos and fear in the United States, yet somehow we haven’t done anything to prevent this on a major scale.

The last time major gun legislation was seen in Congress was 2007, after the massacre at Virginia Tech, which saw the lives of 32 innocent students and faculty violently ended. This legislation attempting to be pushed was quickly diminished. Since then, gun legislation has barely been mentioned, which is concerning considering the recent rise in the total number of deaths per shooting.

Evidence bag

Illustration by Genevieve Griffin

Something has to be done; now. While I fully believe it is every American citizen’s right to own a gun, there are certain guns that shouldn’t be owned without an extensive background check and mental evaluation. A .22 rifle is made for target practice, a .270 is made for hunting game and an automatic assault rifle is made for the sole purpose of killing other human beings.

If something isn’t proposed soon, we will continue to see this same senseless violence throughout our country. Maybe the best solution isn’t banning them; maybe, we should be looking at ways to distribute guns properly. Either way, it’s time to start exploring our options for reform.