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America’s Rapid Fire Epidemic

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America’s Rapid Fire Epidemic

Gun control and school shootings are related.(Verenice Medina, Ozmar Mendez, Marcella Monteiro, Ethan Flores / for Lincoln Lion Tales)

Gun control and school shootings are related.(Verenice Medina, Ozmar Mendez, Marcella Monteiro, Ethan Flores / for Lincoln Lion Tales)

Thomas Miller

Gun control and school shootings are related.(Verenice Medina, Ozmar Mendez, Marcella Monteiro, Ethan Flores / for Lincoln Lion Tales)

Thomas Miller

Thomas Miller

Gun control and school shootings are related.(Verenice Medina, Ozmar Mendez, Marcella Monteiro, Ethan Flores / for Lincoln Lion Tales)

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America is the gun, America was fundamentally based on the idea of guns offering protection. Throughout american history, guns have always been there to ensure victory and security. The times we lived in have changed. Now a days the guns that protected us are now being used to kill our own children that we send to school. That nearly over 200 youth have died due to gun violence and school shootings. The Blow then states “ The American idea is caught up in carnage. Its very beginning is rooted in gun violence. It is by the barrel that this land was acquired. It is by the barrel that the slave was subdued and his rebellions squashed. And that is to say nothing of our wars”. He elaborates that because of guns america has been able to progress throughout historical events. In our current times, it’s no longer letting us progress, and is instead causing regression to primitive ways with of massacre.
He then claims the NRA is inaction part of this undeniable issue of this repeated violence and increasing death toll. He states “ The N.R.A. estimates that between 8.5 million and 15 million assault rifles are in circulation, based on manufacturer data.” He discusses how the NRA uses their lobbying power to push for legislation allowing manufacture of more assault rifles, loose regulations over gun purchases, or even changing the age and having an extensive background check on the buyer. As his concluding argument Blows say “We have venerated the gun and valorized its usage. America is violent and the gun is a preferred instrument of that violence. America, in many ways, is the gun.” America is at fault,and that because of this cycle of gun violence and no redemption. America is defined by the gun.

An article from BBC News says, “There were 64 school shootings in 2015, according to a dedicated campaign group set up in the wake of the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre in Connecticut in 2012.” This is important because it shows a key detail that school shootings are a cycle that might never end by showing us that in 2015 and even before, there were school shootings. In 2018, we have already had 5 school shootings in the US.
The article goes on to say, “So many people die annually from gunfire in the US that the death toll between 1968 and 2011 eclipses all wars ever fought by the country. According to research by Politifact, there were about 1.4 million firearm deaths in that period, compared with 1.2 million US deaths in every conflict from the War of Independence to Iraq.” This is important because people die by other people from this country. Also it shows that weapons isn’t the thing that’s killing people, it’s people who are killing people because of the choices that they make or because of many other reasons.

Another topic that people have blamed all of these mass shootings on is the issue of mental health. Asperger syndrome (AS), also known as Asperger’s is a developmental disorder characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction and nonverbal communication, along with restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests. When school shootings take place, this syndrome is often suspected. The PhD Marcia Eckerd affirms “It’s important to make this clear — research has shown that people with Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) are no more violent than the general population. In fact, they’re much more likely to be the victims of bullying and violence.”
She makes it clear that autism, has no connection with a tendency to be violent. Eckerd also claims that “The people who kill groups of innocent people (outside military actions) are those who have no regard for other people, no capacity for empathy or remorse. The popular term for this is psychopath;” Autistic people do not understand other people feelings, and who do not have compassion for other people’s feelings are considered psychopaths.That leads to the topic “empathy”. Emily Willingham, in the article Autism, Empathy, and Violence: Asperger’s Does Not Explain Connecticut Shooting, says that there’s two types of empathy, she also claims that empathic ability comes in two forms, one is the social ability to recognize the emotion someone is feeling by following social cues (nonverbal communication), psychopaths might be quite good at reading people from these perspective, while autistic people generally tend not to be that great at this kind of recognition in non-autistic people.

The other form of empathy follows on the recognition of the emotion and being able, as popularly said, to take a walk in their shoes. The gap for psychopaths comes in here, because they seem to lack this emotional empathy. To conclude her statement, the author Willingham says “Planned, social violence is not a feature of autism.” So the end these mental issues have almost no correlation to school shootings. But are usually always blamed on and confused with the popular term known as Psychopathic Behavior. But since this mental health issue is linked to social interactions, many have a tendency to believe that it’s the leading factor to mass shootings.

The reality is that people with mental health issues is not the reason massive amounts of people are being slaughtered. Emma Gonzalez, a victim of the Florida High School shooting, delivered a speech at a gun control rally in Fort Lauderdale,Florida. Gonzalez claimed that since the government wa snot doing anything about guns that the victims themselves had to take matters into their own hands. Gonzalez also makes a striking point when she addresses the issue of mental health. She says that mental health is not the real issue because “He wouldn’t have harmed that many students with a knife”.

We have to admit that America’s gun control laws aren’t very strict at all. In fact is is so easy to obtain a gun that a video has surfaced of a 13 year old boy who was able to legally purchase a .22 bolt action rifle within minutes. The video shows the boy being previously denied the ability to purchase various items such as cigarettes, pornography and lotto tickets. Unless America gets better gun control it will continue to live in this hurricane of fear and injustice. Unless something is done to regulate guns our children will continue to live in fear that some mass murderer has once again got his hands on a gun and is coming their way. Unless guns become better regulated countless people remain in danger because of how simple it is to obtain a deadly weapon. Now, regulating guns will not completely solve the problem (since there are plenty of illegal ways to obtain a gun) but it is a step in the right direction. It is a step toward a nation free from fear.

This country is known as the land of the free but is that really the case when so many people live enslaved under their constant fear of guns. Our 32nd president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, once stated that there are four essential human freedoms. The fourth one was freedom from fear, he stated that this meant “ A world-wide reduction of of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor – anywhere in the world.” Now FDR was talking about war around the world, but I am talking about the war within our own country. We should follow in those footsteps by having a nation-wide reduction of armaments so that no American will be in a position to commit an act of aggression against any neighbor. Until we do this, this nation will continue to live in fear and continue to be attacked unless “We the people” do something about it.

Sources:

Sabalow, Ryan. “New Gun Restrictions Are Coming to California in 2018. Here’s What They Mean to You.” Sacbee, The Sacramento Bee, 11 Dec. 2017, 01:28 PM, www.sacbee.com/news/state/article189213039.html.

Elliott, Philip. “The Las Vegas Shooting’s Impact on the Gun Control Debate.” Time, Time, 5 Oct. 2017, time.com/4970279/fight-over-gun-control-isnt-really-about-guns/.

Patel, Jugal K. “After Sandy Hook, More Than 400 People Have Been Shot in Over 200 School Shootings.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 15 Feb. 2018, www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/02/15/us/school-shootings-sandy-hook-parkland.html.

Mitchell, Travis. “4. Views of Guns and Gun Violence.” Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project, 22 June 2017, www.pewsocialtrends.org/2017/06/22/views-of-guns-and-gun-violence/.

“Guns in the US: The Statistics behind the Violence.” BBC News, BBC, 5 Jan. 2016, www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-34996604.

“Síndrome De Asperger.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 5 Mar. 2018, es.wikipedia.org/wiki/S%C3%ADndrome_de_Asperger.

Charles. “America Is the Gun.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 25 Feb. 2018, www.nytimes.com/2018/02/25/opinion/america-is-the-gun.html?rref=collection%2Ftimestopic%2FGun%2BControl&action=click&contentCollection=timestopics®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=collection.

Nilsen, Tara Golshan and Ella. “Where the Gun Control Debate Stands in Congress.” Vox, Vox, 27 Feb. 2018, www.vox.com/2018/2/27/17053968/gun-control-debate-congress-parkland.

Seelye, Katharine Q., and Jess Bidgood. “What Are States Doing About Gun Violence After the Florida Shooting?” The New York Times, The New York Times, 26 Feb. 2018, www.nytimes.com/2018/02/26/us/gun-control-laws.html.

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Bilingual Student Newspaper of Abraham Lincoln High School, San Jose California.
America’s Rapid Fire Epidemic