One month after the United States’ deadliest mass shooting, the U.S. experienced yet another, marking its fifth most fatal mass shooting.
These tragedies have caused thousands of individuals to pray for victims and those affected, without putting into consideration the power of legislation––words are simply not enough.
A man opened fired inside a local church in Sutherland Springs, Texas on Nov. 5, prompting thousands to send their thoughts and prayers to those affected.
After the events in Sutherland Springs, Las Vegas and Orlando, the U.S. has witnessed various communities gathering together to share words of hope and love. There is one common denominator, however, that has yet to change: gun control.
The U.S. accounts for 48 percent “of the estimated 650 million civilian-owned guns worldwide,” according to CNN. CNN also notes that the U.S is accountable for 31 percent of global mass shootings, which makes sense, given the high number of guns owned in the U.S.
These astounding statistics sparked the recurring debate regarding gun control within recent years, which is seemingly meaningless without taking proper action. It is critical for politicians to follow through on their promises, because thoughts and prayers do not prevent mass shootings—actions do.
A stricter gun control policy is necessary to increase safety for individuals when it comes to large, unpredictable acts of gun violence. “There are a handful of policies that could reduce the likelihood of such events, or reduce the number of people killed when such shootings do occur,” according to The New York Times.
Most of the hand guns used in mass shootings have been obtained legally, according to The Washington Post, which is why it is imperative for gun control laws to be proposed and enacted.
After the shooting that occurred last month, President Donald Trump stated, “what happened in Las Vegas is in many ways a miracle. The police department has done such an incredible job … [the U.S. will] be talking about gun laws as time goes by,” as reported by CNN. It is vital, however, to recognize the issues of gun control in a country where mass shootings are fairly prominent.
On the contrary to what Trump claimed, Congressman Seth Moulton added his perspective after the Las Vegas shooting: “I will not be joining my colleagues in a moment of silence on the House Floor that just becomes an excuse for inaction … Now is not a moment for silence; it’s a time for action.”
If the majority of politicians agreed with Moulton’s standpoint, more laws would be enforced and fewer shootings would occur.
Fifty eight people lost their lives at a country concert, 49 people lost their lives at a nightclub, 32 lost their lives at a college campus and 27 lost their lives at an elementary school. Stricter gun regulations could have saved those lives, not warm condolences. Although these empty words are comforting subsequent to tragedy, they are not enough to avert the consequences.
As of 2015, the U.S. officially has more guns than its total population, according to The Washington Post. The total number of firearms and causalities are growing exponentially, yet there has been no further discussion regarding stricter gun control. Americans continuously send their sympathy to those affected by these acts of violence, which while greatly appreciated, cannot end future misfortunes.
There is a serious epidemic of gun violence, which must be addressed. It is clear that there has been a lack of action in the U.S.––politicians must stop using empty words and be obligated to impose stricter gun laws; their reassuring thoughts and prayers are not enough.