A gunman opened fire on a crowd of 22,000 people in my native city of Las Vegas on Sunday. At presstime, news outlets were reporting almost 60 people had lost their lives and more than 500 were wounded.
At around 11 p.m. that day, I woke to a text from my friend. Weeks ago, during Hurricane Harvey, I reached out to him to let him know that I was thinking about him and his family. This time, he texted me and said he hoped my family was okay. I went into panic mode. I didn’t know what was happening.
As I was about to check the news, I received a breaking news notification from the New York Times. I read the only gruesome details from the shooting that had been reported in the minutes after the attack. I immediately called my loved ones to ensure they were safe. I was in disbelief and didn’t get much sleep that night.
Monday seemed surreal. Scrolling through Facebook, it seemed as if everyone had known about the attack. Yet, when I got to class, everyone was acting as if nothing had happened. Only a few teachers reached out and even fewer students did. I’m thankful for the ones who did. They helped me as I awaited news on friends and acquaintances in critical condition.
So, why was everyone so silent? We have been trained to act this way as a society.
Mass shootings are now common in the U.S. Sunday’s shooting marked 273 mass shootings in just 275 days of 2017, according to gunviolencearchive.org. We are used to mass shootings in states far from us being a part of everyday life. Yet, everyone stays silent. We pray for the victims and go on with our lives.
We can no longer remain silent. We cannot idly stand by as our loved ones are ripped away from us. People have asked to leave politics out of the discussion in respect for lost loved ones, but when is enough going to be enough? Now is the time to talk about guns in the U.S., as they are being used for malevolent purposes–to strike fear in our hearts and perhaps even stop them from beating.
The gunman had 19 long range rifles in his hotel room, according to Monday’s news reports. These weapons are designed to eliminate other humans at an efficient rate. What is the purpose of owning one of these rifles, except to kill? Sure, people use guns for self-defense as well as home defense, but is a military-grade rifle necessary for those purposes? Is it necessary to own fully semi-automatic long-range rifles? It’s not. It is dangerous.
This is irresponsible. Our government’s job is to protect us, to ensure every American is granted life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Our government has not done this, and instead has subjected the American people to situations like this. Innocent people are dying without reason. It’s time to act.
Guns don’t kill people, humans do. A human being makes the decision to kill others. So, why keep allowing this? If a child is throwing food, do you supply the child with more food or do you take it away from them? Obviously, we are not children and the government is not our parent, but they have the duty to create laws and govern to keep us from being subjected to mass shootings at concerts.
People in this country are going to come together after this. America has its flaws, but one of its strengths is the ability to unite in times of need. Americans will not let terrorists stop us from living our lives. I’m given hope by all of the people who have posted, donated and assisted in any way they humanly could.
Now is the time for action. Now is the time to analyze whether or not we want to allow anyone to purchase these weapons. It’s no longer a question of rights, but a question of public safety.